CONF: Sympotic Poetry

Seen on the Classicists list (please direct any queries to the folks mentioned in the item and not to rogueclassicism):

Sympotic Poetry. A Colloquium

Christ Church, Oxford. March 31st-April 2nd 2011

The symposiast’s couch is a key vantage-point from which to survey Greek poetry. Poetry was performed at the symposium from the beginnings of Greek literature (judging from the sympotic traces in Homer) down to the fourth century and probably into Hellenistic times. Even later, echoes of the sympotic setting are exploited in literary games of generic appropriation. This conference proposes to examine the symposium both as a setting for the performance of poetry and as a ‘mental space’ rich in aesthetic, social, and political implications. What does it mean in practice to speak of ‘sympotic poetry’? How does the symposium as a performance context shape and cut across generic conventions? Are there conventions of sympotic song and, if so, what are they? How should we disentangle the symposium as the setting for poetry from the symposium as the imaginary place which is the product, rather than the precondition, of this poetry? How does the historical symposium in its various aspects (a politically defined group of people, a means of socialization derived from Near Eastern cultures, a carefully regulated set of customs, etc.) relate to the symposium as a setting for the competitive display of artistic competence, where something akin to literary criticism first begins? What is the role of the symposion in the early institution of corpora and canonisation of texts? How did sympotic performance affect transmission?


Prof. Lucia Athanassaki (Crete)

Prof. Hans Bernsdorff (Frankfurt)

Prof. Ewen Bowie (Oxford)Dr. Felix Budelmann (Oxford)

Prof. Ettore Cingano (Venice)

Prof. Giambattista D’Alessio (KCL)

Dr. Renaud Gagné (Cambridge)

Prof. Guy Hedreen (Williams)

Prof. Albert Henrichs (Harvard)

Prof. Richard Hunter (Cambridge)

Prof. Gregory Hutchinson (Oxford)

Prof. Gauthier Liberman (Bordeaux)

Dr. Dirk Obbink (Oxford)

Prof. Timothy Power (Rutgers)

Prof. Ralph Rosen (UPenn) Prof. Ian Rutherford (Reading)

Prof. Deborah Steiner (Columbia)

Further details and information on registration to follow.


vanessa.cazzato AT

enrico.prodi AT

The organizers

Dirk Obbink, Vanessa Cazzato, Enrico Prodi

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