CONF: The Playful Plutarch

Seen on the Classicists list:

Irony and Humour as Imperial Greek Literary Strategies:

The Playful Plutarch
12-13 July 2011
Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St. Giles’, University of Oxford.


Tuesday, 12th July 2011

9:00-9:30: Registration

9:30-10:00: Opening words/ welcome:
Christopher Pelling (University of Oxford)
Eran Almagor (Hebrew University of Jerusalem/ University of Leipzig)
Katerina Oikonomopoulou (University of Patras)

10:00-10:45 Session 1: A Playful Plutarch?

Introduction: Frances Titchener (Utah State University)
Luc van der Stockt (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven): ‘Verbal Wit and Practical Jokes. Conditions for and Limits to Humour according to Plutarch.’

10:45- 11:15: Coffee break

11:15 – 12:45 Session 2: Reading Humour

11:15 – 11:45: Eran Almagor (Hebrew University of Jerusalem/ University of Leipzig): ‘The Importance of Being Ironic: Irony and the Unreliable Narrator in Plutarch’s Lives.’
11:45 – 12:15: Mark Beck (University of South Carolina): ‘The Serio-Comical Life of Antony: A Bakhtinian Reading.’
12:15 – 12:45: Alexei Zadorozhny (University of Liverpool): ‘Funny Stuff: Sympotic Teasing and Ethopoetic Strategies in the Banquet of the Seven Sages.’

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Session 3: Plays with Eros

14:00 – 14:30: Aristoula Georgiadou (University of Patras): ‘Plutarch, a Serious Jester? The Case of the Amatorius.’
14:30 – 15:00: Toni Badnall (University of Oxford): ‘Do as I do, not as I say? Tongue-in-cheek Humour in Plutarch’s Amatorius.’
15:00 – 15:30: Aislinn Melchior (University of Puget Sound): ‘’Whose Dog are you?˝ Moral Metabiography and Named Slaves in Plutarch’s Roman Lives’

15:30 – 16:00: Coffee break

16:00–17:30 Session 4: Plutarchan Humoristic Discourse in its Imperial Context

16:00-16:30: Judith Mossman (University of Nottingham): ‘The Humour in Homer: Plutarch’s Gryllus and the Odyssey.’
16:30-17:00: Jason König (University of St. Andrews), ‘Sympotic Smiles and Sympotic Laughter in Plutarch and Macrobius.’
17:00-17:30: Katerina Oikonomopoulou (University of Patras): ‘Imperial Discourses of Laughter in Plutarch and Other Second Sophistic Authors.’

17:30 – 18:00 Tea break

18:00 – 18:45 Session 5: Playing with Plutarch

Christopher Pelling (University of Oxford): ‘Plutarchan Humour: The Story so Far.’
Donald Russell (University of Oxford): ‘A Plutarchan Fragment.’

18:45-20:00 Drinks reception

20:00 Conference dinner

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

9:00–10:30 Session 6: Laughter Between Philosophy and Psychology

9:00- 9:30: Anastasios Nikolaidis (University of Crete): ‘Philosophers do not laugh: Plutarch’s Sense of Humour as Evidence of his Platonism.’
9:30- 10:00: Maria Vamvouri Ruffy (University of Lausanne): ‘Plutarque et le Contrôle du Rire.’
10:00 – 10:30: Katarzyna Jazdzewska (Ohio State University): ‘Communicating through Laughter: Plutarch’s Symposion of the Seven Sages.’

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:00- 12:30 Session 7: Plutarchan Learned Plays

11:00-11:30 Michael Paschalis (University of Crete): ‘Etymology and Word-play in Plutarch.’
11:30- 12:00: Hendrik Müller-Reineke (University of Göttingen/Corpus Christi College Oxford): ‘Plutarch’s Collection of Apophtegmata as a Source of Educated Wit and Humour.’
12:00-12:30: Jared Hudson (UC Berkeley): ‘Ridentem dicere verum: Humour in Plutarch’s Etymologies.’

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:00 Session 8: Wit, Humour and the Plutarchan Statesman

13:30 – 14:00: Delfim Leão (University of Coimbra): ‘The Playful Solon and the Sneaky Athenians: Plutarch on the Salamis Dossier and on the Seisachtheia.’
14:00- 14:30: Mallory Monaco (Princeton University): ‘Folly and Dark Humour in the Life of Demetrius.’
14:30-15:00 Susan Jacobs (Columbia University): ‘Humour in Plutarch’s Lives: A Tool of the Statesman’s Craft.’

15:00- 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30- 17:00: Session 9: Irony and the Comic between Text and Intertext
15:30-16:00: Sophia Xenophontos (University of Oxford): ‘Plutarch’s Use of Comedy in the Lives of Pericles and Fabius Maximus.’
16:00-16:30: Michele Lucchesi (University of Oxford): ‘Laughter in Plutarch’s Sulla.’
16:30-17:00: Johan Vekselius (University of Lund): ‘Humour and Ironic Tears in Plutarch’s Lives.’

17:10 – 17:40 Session 10: The Playful Plutarch

Closing discussion, chaired by Christopher Pelling
Closing Words by Eran Almagor and Katerina Oikonomopoulou

For more information, please contact the conference organizers:
Dr Eran Almagor (eranalmagor AT
Dr Katerina Oikonomopoulou (aikaterini.oikonomopoulou AT

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