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CALL. 01.03.2016: Imagining the Future through the Past: Classical and Early Modern Political Though



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel (Toronto, Canada)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Society for Early Modern Classical Reception (SEMCR)

INFO: call - SEMCR web - SCS web - AIA web -


The new Society for Early Modern Classical Reception (SEMCR) invites proposals for papers to be delivered at the 2017 meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Toronto. For its second panel, SEMCR invites abstracts on the reception of classical texts in early modern political thought. In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes called ancient books a “Venime” akin “to the biting of a mad Dogge,” which had the power to corrupt their readers and bring down monarchies. Hobbes’ violent reaction captures the authority Greek and Roman political thought commanded in a period of radical change in systems of government and, concomitantly, in contemporary theorizing about politics. Early modern readers absorbed Plautus, Plutarch, and rhetorical handbooks along with the authors central to later modern formations of the classical canon like Homer and Cicero. These texts helped give shape to new debates over legitimacy, authority, virtue, community, and a host of other vital issues. This panel invites papers that illuminate the historical impact of that reception or make a methodological contribution to the study of the reception of political thought in particular. Following recent developments in the field, it welcomes studies of poetry and other media as well as canonical prose texts (e.g., Marsilius of Padua, Christine de Pizan, Machiavelli, More, Bodin, Jonson, Grotius, Hobbes, Harrington, Cavendish, Makin, Locke). The study of classical political reception is an emergent field in the context of the SCS, and the panel specially invites scholars new to this area to submit abstracts. We are committed to creating a congenial and collaborative forum for the infusion of new ideas into classics, and hence welcome abstracts that are exploratory in nature as well as abstracts of latter-stage research. Proposals may address (but are not limited to) the following questions: — What distinctive contribution can classicists make to the history of political thought? — How do less well-known texts (e.g., neo-Latin epic, legal texts) affect current conventional interpretations of the history of political thought? — How do early modern thinkers understand temporality? — What role does genre play in the transmission and transformation of early modern thinkers’ engagement with classical thought? — Recent work by Quentin Skinner and others has refocused scholarly attention on the connections between poetry and political theory. How can classicists best contribute to this line of research? Participants include Joy Connolly and Christopher Celenza. Abstracts of no more than 450 words, suitable for a 15-20 minute presentation, should be sent as an email attachment All persons who submit abstracts must be SCS members in good standing. The abstracts will be judged anonymously: please do not identify yourself in any way on the abstract page. Proposals must be received by March 1, 2016.

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