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CALL. 10.02.2019: [PANEL 7] Moving to the Music: Song and Dance in Antiquity (SCS 2020) - Washington




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Marriot Marquis Washington, DC (Washington, DC, USA)


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Music and dance were integrally linked with one another in antiquity: from the ritual choruses of archaic Greece to the pantomime performances of imperial Rome, musicians and dancers worked in close collaboration. Ancient Greek abounds with inclusive and flexible terminology for song-and-dance (mousikē, molpē, choreia), and some of these terms enter into the Latin literary tradition in dynamic and distinct ways (cf. Curtis 2017). Greek and Roman art, for its part, displays a keen fascination in playing with the intricate ways both human and divine dancers could move their bodies in response to music. Inspired by the growing interest in both Greek and Roman dance (see select bibliography), this panel aims to explore how attention to corporeality can enrich and complicate our understanding of ancient music, its performance, and its effect upon both the dancers and their audience.

We invite papers that address the relationship between music and movement, the importance of the body (or bodily response) to vocal and instrumental performance, the visual depiction of dance, the ephemerality of dance and music, both in actual performance and in literary and visual representations, the role of music and dance in religious ritual, and the methodological considerations relevant to the study of topics like meter, rhythm, and musical embodiment. Above all, we ask whether and how the study of dance should be separated from the study of music, and we seek to highlight the unique insights gained by examining these practices together.

In an effort to showcase the best papers and the most innovative research in the field of ancient music, we also welcome abstracts that deal with interdisciplinary aspects of Greek and Roman music and its cultural heritage within the framework of the panel theme.

Abstracts for 20-minute papers to be presented at the 2020 SCS annual meeting should observe the instructions for the format of individual abstracts that appear on the SCS web site. The deadline for submission is February 10, and all prospective presenters should be SCS members in good standing at the time of submission. Please address your abstract to Sarah Olsen ( any questions related to the panel to either Sarah Olsen or Carolyn Laferrière ( In accordance with SCS regulations, all abstracts for papers will be read anonymously by two referees.

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