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CALL. 28.12.2015: The Contexts of Late Antique Literature (9th Celtic Conference in Classics) - Dubl



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Cosetta Cadau (Trinity College Dublin/University College Dublin)

INFO: web -


Late antique literature has been the focus of recent scholarly attention especially over the past twenty years: much research has been dedicated to the reflection of contemporary cultural, social and historical aspects within texts, to the literary contextualisation of texts, and to the levels of literary experimentation through which the classical tradition has been reinvented by late antique authors.

Professional poets in particular – who benefited from similar education and often operated in bureaucratic environments - also constituted the main audience for their works, which were often performed in poetic contests and had to fulfil their readership’s expectations by being closely interwoven with complex social, cultural and religious dynamics. The spread of early Christianity, in particular, involved proposing new lifestyle and gender models which either re-elaborated or rejected pagan imagery and religion in order to establish the new discipline advocated by the fathers of the Church.

Some of the areas that have been the focus of new questions and perspectives are: the reflection of patterns and rhetorical techniques taught at school in the poetic works of late antiquity, and thus the related question of whether contemporary poetics were dictated by paideia; ethopoiia, dramatisation and characterisation in late antique prose and poetry (e.g. Procopius of Gaza); the genesis and the historical, cultural and literary contextualisation of the work of John Malalas; ekphrasis in late antiquity (e.g. John of Gaza); the re-invention of traditional models, with a particular interest in the Latin models in Quintus of Smyrna, Triphiodorus, Nonnus and Colluthus (Ovid, Virgil and Claudian representing the main focus); the exploration of other coexisting literary contexts, such as the Coptic and the Syrian literary tradition; the reflection of social and cultural gender models in literature and art of the period between fourth to sixth c. AD, in particular considering the reception of early Christian doctrine; the impact of the role models offered by the lives of martyrs and hagiography; the re-elaboration of pagan imagery (in particular the iconography of Aphrodite and other deities connected to sexuality and reproduction) within a Christianised society.

Papers are invited on – but not limited to – the topics above.

Submission of Abstracts The Celtic Conference provides panels with up to 16 hours of papers and discussion across three days. Each speaker will be allocated 50 minutes for his or her session. For the panel titled ‘The Contexts of Late Antique Literature’, we invite papers of 30-35 minutes in length, leaving 15-20 minutes for questions and discussion. In selecting papers for the panel, we will be attempting to maintain a good chronological and thematic range of topics.

Please submit titles of proposed papers together with abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding any relevant bibliography) to Cosetta Cadau ( by the 28th of December, 2015. Papers may be presented in English or French (the official languages of the Celtic Conference in Classics).

Preliminary information on the 9th Celtic Conference in Classics is available at the Dublin web site ( Further details of the conference, such as the cost of registration, will be available from the web site in due course.

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