The Imperial Fora | Mayor Marino – An architect, you really should have hired one for the new design of the Via dei Fori Imperiali (03|2014).

@Rome – The Imperial Fora – Archaeological News & Related Studies 2014

ROME, VATICAN: Mayor Marino – An architect, you really should have hired one for the new design of the Via dei Fori Imperiali (03|2014).

CFP | Sex in the Margins (UC Davis, October 10-12, 2014)

Seen on various lists:

CALL FOR PAPERS: “Sex in the Margins”

A Conference on Commentaries, Sexuality, and Gender

University of California, Davis, October 10-12, 2014
Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and the
Program in Classics
Organizers: Ralph Hexter (UC Davis), Laura Pfuntner (UC Davis),
Marc Schachter (University of Oregon)

Just as commentary is hospitable to both mainstream and
esoteric hermeneutic practices, so commentary can host, and
disseminate, views that are both utterly conventional and
radical. We propose a conference to explore this aspect of
commentary, and in particular the intersection of interpretive
traditions and the histories of sexuality and gender. We
therefore solicit proposals for talks that will focus on
commentary as a particular and perhaps even privileged space for
discussions of sexuality and gender. We hope to receive
abstracts addressing a linguistically, geographically, and
temporally broad range of commentaries so that the resulting
conference will contribute to a broader appreciation of the ways
the histories of reception, sexuality and gender are mutually
imbricated in numerous contexts.

Commentary, speaking very generally, is a mode that arises when
a culture prizes (for a variety of reasons) texts of an earlier
cultural formation and must explicate them to contemporaries. In
the case of the western tradition of commentary on “classical”
(i.e., pre-Christian Greek and Latin) texts, works that had high
status for certain sectors of the society confronted readers and
scholars with sexual practices and attitudes that were foreign,
in some cases repugnant to later expectations about sexual roles
and acts. What makes the commentary – whether marginal,
interlinear, or lemmatic – a special instance within reception
is that by its very logic it must confront the ipsissima
verba of the original author (or at times establish what
that verba might have been). In this regard, it is most
similar to translation. Of course, commentary can duck the
challenge, just as a translation can omit offensive passages,
but this is itself worth noting. The expectation, however, that
the commentator will do his/her duty to explicate a text creates
a library of productive negotiations that merit study. Some may
adopt a censorious tone, offering “moral” in addition to
philological instruction. How do the two interact? How does
prejudice impact scholarship and when does philological rigor
trump prejudice?

In other instances, specifics in the classical text may offer a
scholar of a later period an opportunity to speak about nefanda,
license in other words to examine and discuss topics that would
otherwise be taboo. In such cases, one might see the space of
the margin (whether literal or figurative) as liberatory.
Moreover, commentaries themselves have their own reception
histories whose contribution to the histories of sexuality and
gender have hardly been addressed.

The conference we envisage, it need hardly be said, will not be
exhaustive, but we are certainly hoping that it will present a
broad set of examples in the commentary traditions of many
different Greco-Roman authors, with commentaries in Greek, Latin
or vernaculars, and from any period. Studies of commentary on
legal texts would certainly be welcome. We are also eager to
learn about similar (or very different) negotiations within the
commentary traditions in Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit, Japanese,
Chinese, etc. While “commentary” seems to imply that we are
dealing with verbal media, by no means must papers be restricted
to “literary” texts.

The conference will take place at the University of California,
Davis on October 10-12, 2014. Interested parties should send an
abstract of approximately 250 words along with a short CV to davismargins AT
by April 15, 2014. Although we will not be able to cover
expenses for all conference attendees, we invite scholars whose
participation would be contingent on a subvention to include a
brief description of likely travel expenses and probable
financial support. Some limited grants may be available.