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CALL. 08.02.2019: [PANEL 6] Topography and Material Culture in Fifth Century Drama (SCS 2020) - Wash




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

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Anne Duray (University of Stanford); Simone Oppen (University of Columbia),

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The socio-political context of ancient Greek drama has received sustained attention following groundbreaking publications (e.g. Foley, 1985; Winkler and Zeitlin, 1990), and more recently, several authors have engaged specifically with spatial concerns in theatrical performance (e.g. Edmunds, 1996; Rehm, 2002; Lowe, 2006; Futo Kennedy, 2006). Scholars have additionally turned to fifth-century dramatic texts to conceptualize the role of landscape (Worman, 2014, 2015), props (Mueller, 2016), and the issues they and other objects generate therein (Telò and Mueller [eds.], 2018). Given this rich array of scholarship and ongoing archaeological discovery (e.g. Papastamati-von Moock, 2014, 2015), critical and innovative engagement with questions concerning how to integrate literary and material approaches to Greek drama is timely. In this panel, we aim to take a deeper look into the real and imagined materialities of tragedy, comedy, and satyr play and how they may impact and refine our understanding of both dramatic action and its political implications. Accordingly, we invite fine-grained analyses and broader reflections on ways to study topography, landscape, props, and material references more generally in Greek drama.

Papers may address (but are not limited to) such questions as:

· How might momentary invocation of specific, tangible topographic features convey meaning through juxtaposition to a given play’s more sustained setting?

· Can deixis be deployed to analyze moments in which real and imagined landscapes overlap, however ephemerally?

· How do physical settings illuminate political dimensions of fifth-century drama?

· Can we use material references to nuance our understanding of the relationship between “politics” and theater more broadly?

· Are there differences that can be traced in the way that tragedy, comedy, and satyr play refer to topography and/or material culture?

· Are there instances of tension between the immediate setting and other settings, both visible and remote, invoked in the course of dramatic action? To what effect?

· Playwrights may invoke realia (both landscapes and objects) on account of their cultural associations, but how can we accommodate the multivariate interpretations of what those associations might be, taking into account the agency of both objects and audience members?

· How might a given playwright utilize props to convey multiple temporalities during a single performance?

Please send abstracts for 20-minute papers to be read at the 2020 AIA/SCS meeting as email attachments to by February 8, 2019. The subject line of the email should be the title of this panel and the text of your abstract should be anonymous and follow the guidelines on the SCS website. Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by two reviewers. Please address questions about the panel to either Anne Duray ( or Simone Oppen (

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