CFP: Greek Texts and the Early Modern Stage

Seen on the Classicists list:


Greek Texts and the Early Modern Stage

A one-day colloquium
at the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, University of York

Monday 14th
July 2014

Co-organised by:

Tania Demetriou
(York) and Tanya Pollard (Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY)

Keynote Speakers

Gordon Braden (University of Virginia), Yves Peyr Montpellier III), Emily Wilson (University of Pennsylvania)

Roundtable discussion

Fiona Macintosh (Oxford), Charles Martindale (York), Richard
Rowland (York)

This one-day colloquium will explore the impact of Greek
texts on the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Although recent
criticism has revitalised discussions of early modern engagement with Latin
literature, there has been little attention to the way English playwrights
responded to Greek writers. Yet Greek texts circulated at this time, in the
original language as well as in translations and adaptations, and critics are
beginning to explore their consequences for the period’s literary production.
Greek provoked strong responses for a number of reasons: its controversial
associations with Erasmus, Protestantism, and heresy; the spectre of democratic
governance; the rebirth of interest in Galenic medicine; the pervasive
influence of Greek culture on Latin literature; and the identification of Greece
with the origins of theatre. Excavating the influence of Greek texts in this
period comes with a set of challenges that require new approaches to classical
reception. The distinctive complications surrounding the transmission of Greek
texts give a new role to history of the book in such work. The texts
simultaneous availability in original and mediated versions calls for new
approaches to reading and intertextuality. The context of the early
professional theatre, and therefore of viewers and readers lacking reliable
familiarity with Greek texts, poses anew the question of the audience of classical

We invite papers addressing any aspect of early modern
English engagement with Greek texts, from Shakespeare’s Plutarch, to Jonson’s
Aristophanes and Chapman’s Epictetus, but also fresh approaches to the more
diffuse influence of Greek texts, such as: Galen and staging the humours,
antitheatrical responses to Plato and Aristotle, the Poetics and early
modern genre theory, Greek romance and the early modern stage. Last but not
least, we welcome explorations of the presence of Greek drama in theatrical
culture of this period through English printings, academic performances, and
early modern translations and adaptations.

Abstracts (c. 250 words) by 15th February 2014.

Contact: tania.demetriou AT or tpollard AT