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CALL. 20.12.2017: Local and global: the literary landscape and the politics of place in the Hellenis


The graduate students at Harvard University’s Classics department invite abstract submissions for the upcoming graduate student conference, “Local and global: The literary landscape and the politics of place in the Hellenistic world.” We hope to explore the productive tension between the global and the local in Hellenistic literature, as it relates to the political goals of empires and city-states. How did scholars and poets supported by royal patronage construct the world around them? To what extent were literary trends globalized or localized? Were they affected by imperial and civic boundaries? We interpret literature widely as everything from Alexandrian poetry to scientific treatises to literary inscriptions.



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Harvard University’s Classics department (Cambridge, MA, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Harvard University’s Classics department



Some examples of questions that may be useful in reflecting on the topic are provided below:

-What political motivations underlie recherché knowledge about the aetiologies of individual cities or representations of the outer limits of the known world in Alexandrian poetry?

-How do inscribed literary monuments negotiate the tension between championing their civic identity and representing themselves as part of a larger Mediterranean network (e.g. Parian Marble, Pride of Halicarnassus, Lindian Chronicle)?

-How does the alliance between science and political power—most infamously in Herophilus’ vivisection of Alexandrian prisoners—play a role in the totalizing ‘Hellenistic scientific revolution’?

-How did intellectuals in what had previously been the periphery of the Greek world attempt to reform Greek identity around the new contested centers of the oikoumenē (Alexandria, Pergamon, Antioch) through their scholarship?

-How did Hellenistic geography and cartography materialize certain views about the kingdoms of each of the successor states? Did technological advances in map-making result in new attitudes toward space at the local and global levels?

Please submit anonymized abstracts of no more than 300 words to by December 20, 2017. Presentations will be 20 minutes long, followed by 20 minutes of questions. Accommodation for speakers will be provided, but unfortunately no funding is available to cover travel expenses. Participants will be notified via email by early January.

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