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Cultural Memory in the Roman Republic - 03-04/11/2016, London (England)

Latin literary scholarship today has painted itself into a hermeneutic corner. Virtually any conference paper on Latin literature will conclude that an author expresses adherence to Hellenistic poetics and awareness of the burden of the past through multiple layers of intertextuality. This approach has borne plenty of fruit and yielded exquisite contributions on the poetics of allusion and the shadow of Callimachus down to Virgil's epic successors that have altered the way we now think about literature. There is, however, a case to be made that the time is ripe for introducing new methodologies to the tool box of literary studies - not so much to supplant but to complement intertextuality. We therefore encourage avowedly methodological approaches that take into account the recent upsurge in research on memory. Building on Halbwach's concept of collective memory and Nora's lieux und milieux de mémoire (sites of memory) Jan Assmann distinguishes two types of memory: communicative memory, related to the diffuse transmission of memories in everyday life through orality, and cultural memory referring to objectified and institutionalized memories, that can be stored, transferred and reincorporated throughout generations through focused speech. Cultural memory is formed by symbolic heritage embodied in texts, rites, monuments, celebrations, objects, sacred scriptures and other media that serve as mnemonic triggers to initiate meanings associated with what has happened. It brings us back to the time of mythical origins, crystallizes collective experiences of the past and often endures for millennia. Therefore it relies on knowledge restricted to initiates. Communicative memory, on the other hand, is limited to the recent past, evokes personal and often autobiographical memories, and is characterized by a short term (80 to 110 years), from three to four generations. Due to its informal character, it does not require expertise on the part of those who transmit it. Seen from this perspective cultural memory allows us to build a narrative picture of the past and through this process develop an image and an identity for ourselves. Therefore, cultural memory preserves the symbolic institutionalized heritage to which individuals resort to build their own identities and to affirm themselves as part of a group. This is possible because the act of remembering involves normative aspects, so that ‘if you want to belong to a community, you must follow the rules of how and what to remember’ (Assmann). By working as a collective unifying force, cultural memory is considered a hazard by some who aim to make culture a blank slate that makes it possible to start afresh. Others cherish even a traumatic memory as it may help to glue together a group of survivors either by creating a heroic memory or by giving space to the memory of the victims. The umbrella of cultural memory, however, encompasses and interacts with multiple memories such as individual memory (a person remembers his/her past), social memory (memory spoken aloud by a group member and influenced by that member’s place within it), and oikotype (a standardized version of the past adopted by the community) as well as undercurrents such as popular memory (popular retellings modify the original story so that what people believed took place in the past was often quite different from what actually occurred) and vernacular memory (the memory of fringe groups or minorities as opposed to official memory). The aim of this project is to place cultural memory centre stage when examining Latin Literature and Culture.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 03-04/11/2016

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Room K4U.12 4th Floor, King’s Building King's College London (London, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Martin Dinter (KCL); Charles Guérin (Université Paris-Est Créteil); Marcos Martinho (University of Sao Paulo)

INFO: call - web -

INSCRIPCIÓN/REGISTRATION/REGISTRAZIONE: tickets disponibles aquí /tickets available here /tickets disponibile qui

Congreso completo /full con

ference /conferenza completa: 35£

Sólo jueves o viernes /Thursday or Friday only / solo Gioverdi o Venerdi: 15£

Sólo sábado /Saturday only/ solo Sábato: 5£

Conferenciantes /speakers /altoparlanti: 15£

Estudiantes graduados con beca de la Classical Association/ Graduate Students with Classical Association Bursary/ studienti universitari con la borsa di studio di Classical Association: gratis/free/gratuito

Estudiantes graduados con conferencia/ Graduate studentes speakers/studienti universitari con conferenza: gratis/free/gratuito

Estudiantes graduados KLC/ KLC graduate students/ studienti universitari KLC: contactar con / contact /contatto


Thursday 3rd November 2016

Location: Anatomy Museum, level 6, King’s Building, KCL-Strand Campus

9.00 coffee

9.20h opening

9.30-10.40 Key note: Joy Connolly (NYU, USA), Tradition and memory in Cicero, Benjamin, and Arendt. Response. Questions.

10.40-11.00 Coffee break

11.00-11.40h Jennifer Hilder (KCL, UK) The Rhetorica ad Herennium and cultural memory

11.40 – 12.20 Amedeo Alessandro Raschieri (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy) Cultural memory in young Cicero: the case of the De inuentione

12.20-13.00h Matthew Fox (Glasgow, UK) Cicero: dialogue form and cultural memory

13h-14h sandwich lunch served

14.00-14.40h Joshua Hartman (University of Washington, USA) Semper Manebit: Cicero, Poetry, and the Invention of Tradition

14.40-15.20h Catherine Steel (Glasgow, UK) ‘Cultural memory and political change in the public speech in the late Roman Republic’

15.20- 16.00 Marsha McCoy (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA) Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity: Cicero’s De Re Publica

16.00h-16.30h Coffee break

16.30-17.10h Evan Jewell (Columbia University, NY, USA) “Remembering Differently: The exemplarity ofpopulares as a site of ideological contest in late Republican oratory.”

17.10-17.50 Mark Thorne (Brigham Young University, USA) The Making of an Exemplum: The Transformation of Cato into Uticensis

17.50-18.30 Rebecca Langlands (University of Exeter, UK) Sites of exemplarity & the challenges of accessing the cultural memory of the Republic

19.00h conference dinner (Cigale, Chancery Lane)

Friday 4th November 2016

9.00h onwards coffee

9.30h-10.40 Key note: Tony Corbeill (University of Kansas) Creating Roman Memories in Plautus.Response. Questions

10.40h-11.00h coffee break

10.00h-11.40 Mathias Hanses (Penn State University, USA): Men among Monuments: Roman Memory in Plautus’ Curculio

11.40h-12.20h Thomas Biggs (University of Georgia, USA) War and Cultural Memory at the Beginnings of Latin Literature

12.20-13.00h Alessandro Fabi (University of Pisa, Italy) Accius’ Armorum Iudicium between Aeschylus, Sophocles, Ennius and Pacuvius

13.00h-14.00h lunch break

14.00h-14.40h Irene Leonardis (University of Rome 3 – Paris 8, Italy/France) Varro and the re-foundation of Roman cultural memory through genealogy and humanitas

14.40h-15.20h Leif Scheuermann (University of Graz, Austria) The Memorial landscape of Rome in Varros Lingua Latina

15.20-16.00h Orazio Cappello Fragments of a Roman Past. Memory and History in Varro’s de Re Rustica.

16.00h-16.30h coffee break

16.30-17.10h Ian Goh (Birkbeck College, London, UK) The Sexual Politics of Cultural Memory among the Scipios

17.10-17.50 Kresimir Vukovic (University of Oxford, UK) The festival of the Lupercalia

18.30h Conference Dinner, optional, at speakers own expense (Italian, Turkish or Indian Restaurant)

Saturday 5th November

9.50-10.30h Alexandra Eckert (University of Oldenburg, Germany) Sulla dictator rei publicae constituendae and Roman Cultural Memory as a vehicle of cultural memory in the Roman Republic

10.30-11.10 Cristina Rosillo-López (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain) Between communicative and cultural memory: tracing the political culture of the Roman plebs in the Late Roman Republic

11.10-11.40 Coffee Break

11.40-12.20 Alyson Roy (University of Washington, USA) A Memory and a Warning: Coins as Material Expressions of Power in Roman Iberia

12.20-13.00h Günther Schörner (University Vienna, Austria): Past sacrifices: memory and the representation of rituals in the Roman Republic

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