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CALL. 06.01.2017: [PANEL 2 at 10th CCC] "The Rhetoric of Identity in Greek Oratory" - Mont




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Montreal (Montreal, Canada) ; McGill University (Montreal, Canada)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Brenda Griffith-Williams (University College London) ; Jakub Filonik (Jagiellonian University in Krakow) ; Janek Kucharski (University of Silesia).


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‘Identity’, as a philosophical, psychological, social or political concept, has been a focus of attention in the humanities and social sciences for almost half a century. Every individual has a unique identity, defined in terms of such factors as name, date of birth, parentage, and physical appearance, but individuals also identify themselves, and are identified by others, as members of groups.

Our panel will explore the language used by ancient Greeks to differentiate themselves from one another, and from outsiders. We encourage speakers to make use of the modern theoretical background, charting both its value and its limitations for the study of classical texts, but we are also open to papers following the more traditional methodology of classical studies. We intend to emphasize the dynamic nature of identity, inquiring into the very processes of its construction and reconstruction: how speakers define, redefine and manipulate the ideas, concepts, expectations and emotions related to certain social groups, as they seek to shape their own rhetorical avatars and those of their adversaries. We are therefore less interested in personal characterization (ethos), and more in the intersections between individual and group identities: how and why one is affiliated with a group. We also wish to consider how the circumstances created by the particular context of a given speech (legal, political, rhetorical) impact on the deployment and manipulation of these concepts. We finally encourage participants to ‘read between the lines’ of the sources in search of identity-related presuppositions, of figurative language which serves to represent them, and of the points where the crucial oppositions defining identity are seen to fall apart.

We invite proposals on any aspect of this subject, including the following topics (but the list is not exhaustive):

 -civic ideology and citizenship  -private vs public identities  -the identity of women  -identities of the subjugated and excluded  -the identity of groups not recognized by the community; hidden identities  -local, regional and Panhellenic identities  -conflicting identities; primary and secondary identities  -individual identity, its social and political implications  -the discourse of socio-economic and ‘class’ identity, and of ethnicity  - linguistic and conceptual means of constructing identity, including metaphor and other figurative language  -identity and knowledge  -identification with power  -military ideology and the identity of (para-)military groups Papers, which may be in English or French, will be 30-35 minutes, followed by discussion. We welcome proposals from advanced PhD students and early career researchers, as well as more established scholars. Please send an abstract of 250-300 words (in English or French) by 6 January 2017 at the latest, to each of the three organizers:,, and We will acknowledge receipt of all abstracts, and we expect to reach a decision by 30 January. In the meantime, please feel free to contact any one of us if you need more information. Speakers will be expected to pay the conference fee, and arrange their own funding for travel and accommodation.

Confirmed speakers (With provisional titles) Roger Brock (Leeds) ‘Civic and local identities in Athenian rhetoric’. Jakub Filonik (Kraków) ‘The metaphorical expression of civic identity in Athenian oratory’. Michael Gagarin (Texas) ‘Slave identities in Athenian forensic oratory’. Brenda Griffith-Williams (London) ‘The two Mantitheoi in Dem. 39 and [Dem.] 40: a case of Athenian identity theft?’ Konstantinos Kapparis (Florida) ‘Constructing gender identity: women in Athenian trials’. Janek Kucharski (Katowice) ‘Social identities and legal penalties in Athenian forensic oratory’.

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