CFP: Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient Drama from Late Antiquity to 1550

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

Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient drama from late antiquity to 1550

The University of Melbourne: 13th to 15th July 2011

Convenors: Andrew Turner, Giulia Torello Hill

In 2011 the University of Melbourne, in association with the University of Queensland, will host an international conference with the title Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient drama from late antiquity to 1550. Illustrated manuscripts of classical authors often transmitted an insight for much later readers into how ancient illustrators (and thus audiences) visualized these works, but also provided current reinterpretations of the texts. Both tendencies are best exemplified in a cycle of illustrations to the plays of Terence, which provides an almost unbroken continuum from the Carolingian era through to the dawn of the age of printing. But despite the fact that these illustrations represented the action on stage, even down to details of masks and props, there is no evidence at all that the plays were performed in the mediaeval period—they were simply literary texts, to be studied and at the most recited by a lector. Rather, revivals of the Classics on stage began in the Italian Renaissance, and the theoretical knowledge which critics gleaned from writers like Vitruvius were poured back into the illustrated tradition, providing an extraordinary amalgam of ancient and ‘modern’. This conference will explore the connections between text, illustration, and revival.

Confirmed speakers so far include Gianni Guastella (University of Siena), who has written several seminal publications on the reception of Roman comedy in the Italian Renaissance, Dorota Dutsch (University of California, Santa Barbara), author of Feminine Discourses in Roman Comedy (Oxford 2008), who has most recently been investigating the semiotics of gesture in the illustrated Terence manuscripts; and Bernard Muir (University of Melbourne), a world authority on the digitization of manuscripts, who has published extensively on Latin palaeography and on the mediaeval transmission of texts, and who most recently, with Andrew Turner, is the editor of a digital facsimile of a 12th-century manuscript of Terence from Oxford (Terence’s Comedies, Bodleian Digital Texts 2, Oxford 2010). We are hopeful that selected proceedings will eventually be published following the conference.

You are now invited to submit proposals for papers (lasting 30 minutes). We are particularly interested in submissions on the following topics, although we will look at other submissions on the broad area of classical drama between Late Antiquity and 1550 sympathetically.

• The manuscript traditions of the classical dramatists;

• Mediaeval scholia and commentary traditions;

• Illustrations of drama in the manuscript and early printed traditions;

• The physical environment of performances of ancient drama;

• Reception and translation of Greek dramatists in the West before 1550.

The deadline for submission of a title and an abstract of 100 words is 25th February 2011. We intend establishing a web site early next year which will progressively include information on the conference, registration, and accommodation. For the meantime, please direct any enquiries (including proposals for papers), to:

Andrew Turner

Classics and Archaeology Programme

Old Quadrangle Building

The University of Melbourne, 3010, AUSTRALIA

or email to: ajturner AT

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