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CALL. 24.02.2017: [PANEL 5 at SCS 2018] Power Couple: Attic Comedy and Historiography - Boston (MA,




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Boston Marriott Copley Place (Boston, MA, USA)


INFO: web - - -


Attic Comedy and Historiography thematize the question of power in all its forms: both genres analyze rhetorical power, imperial power, mythical and divine power, the power (or powerlessness) of the law, the power of the reputation or charisma of politicians, leaders, generals, or kings, and diverse other themes of this kind. Thoroughgoing connections may also be observed between comic and historiographic ways of approaching power, as each genre stakes out a variety of positions on the continuously roiling competition for power that was necessarily a main concern of their shared audience(s). Both genres play, for example, on their audience’s love of empire, vulnerability to demagogues, or disapproval of female authority.

We welcome papers that explore more fully the relation between the treatments of power found in Attic comedy and historiography. For instance, we encourage papers that address the relationships between how the two genres treat the following themes:

  • the power of language: for example, the power of insult and abuse, of stereotypes, of deception, of refusing to communicate, of messengers

  • the power of demagoguery and/or of personality

  • the power of the past and/or of memory

  • the power of sudden changes, reversals, of new ideas, of criticism

  • the power of myth, of the divine, of oracles, or of divine law

  • the power of physical violence; soft and hard power

  • the power of legitimate and illegitimate use of legal procedures and trials

  • the power of material objects, of symbolic objects, of visualization of objects

  • the power of money, or of the desire for money

  • the power of cities or empires; of particular wars or war in general

Freedom of speech is under increasing attack worldwide. Analysis of how comedy and historiography interacted to examine and respond to political, social, and military power in a democratic setting is therefore very timely. Abstracts should explain the main arguments of a paper that will last no more than 20 minutes. They will be refereed by the organizers and two anonymous readers. Anonymous initial abstracts of 300 words or less should be submitted as email attachments to The subject line of the email should be the title of the panel. If you have questions about the panel you may email the organizers: Emily Baragwanath ( and Edith Foster (

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