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CALL. 01.03.2016: The Genesis of the Ancient Text: New Approaches (Panel at SCS 2017) - Toronto (Can



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


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We invite proposals for papers part of an approved organizer-refereed panel at the 2017 SCS annual meeting in Toronto on the subject “The Genesis of the Ancient Text: New Approaches.” We are open to any submission that shares our general aim: to take stock of recent work on how ancient texts were planned, composed, and revised and to explore new approaches to the subject. We are especially interested in perspectives that seek to tie together the material, social, and theoretical aspects of ancient literary genesis.

Recent research has approached the question of how ancient texts were generated from the perspective of the sociology of literature, the materiality of the book, and contemporary genetic criticism. This work shows sensitivity to the socio-historical significance of genesis, and has developed tools for analyzing how and why it is represented. But it also suggests further questions, of which the following three seem especially critical:

(1) Can emphases on the representation of genesis be re-integrated with concrete treatments of actual cases of revision, as these are represented by the material remains on papyri, for example, where we have not only stories about genesis but also concrete instances of it taking place?

(2) Thus far this new work on textual genesis has been almost exclusively Romano-centric, and within the Roman sphere there has been a remarkable emphasis on the late republic and early principate. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the claims made so far about the social meaning of genesis may be applied, mutatis mutandis, to Greek literary production and to other periods in antiquity. How did genesis play out in other historical contexts or institutional settings (for example, in education or in the very different legal world of Greco-Roman Egypt)?

(3) Some progress has been made in affiliating textual production with literary theory, particularly of a non-Aristotelian stripe, but much more seems possible here. We might ask how genesis interfaced with differing ideas of craft and with competing forms of literary theory and criticism (for example, that of the “critics” summarized and attacked by Philodemus in On Poems as opposed to the Aristotelian “vernacular”). How far can we go in linking specific theoretical models with concrete examples of genesis in their socio-historical contexts, or does theory necessarily remain at arm’s length from the messy realia of production?

Submissions, which should follow the SCS guidelines for individual abstracts, must be received in the SCS office by March 1, 2016. Abstracts will be reviewed by the organizers and a final selection will be made before April 8, 2016.

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