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Plato on Comedy - 30-31/03/2019, Durham (England)

This research project aims to explore Plato’s rich and nuanced treatment of Greek comedy. In recent years there have been a number of high-quality publications on a variety of topics related to Plato and comedy. These works have often been more narrow in their focus, and fall within the contemporary disciplinary boundaries of either philosophy or classics. This is perhaps understandable given that lacking in the Platonic dialogues are the kinds of sustained treatments of comedy that we find for tragedy and epic. But yet, as this recent scholarship has shown, engagements with comedy, comic poets, as well as comic vignettes, tropes, and all manner of comic ‘business’ litter the dialogues.

This project aims to offer the first systematic investigation of Plato's engagement with comedy. This project will take a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to this issue, and will include both philosophers and classicists who work on topics including Plato’s poetics, the wider philosophical reception of comedy, and comedy itself. In doing so we hope to illuminate the scope and complexity of Plato’s treatment of comedy, and situate Plato’s treatment of comedy within a broader history of development of the comic tradition, and its reception.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 30-31/03/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Birley Room, Hatfield College, Durham University (Durham, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Assoc. Prof. Andrea Capra; Dr. Anthony Hooper; Dr. Sarah Miles; Dr. George Gazis; Ms. Marta Antola; Ms. Maddalena Ruini.

INFO: web - - - - - -


We are planning a dinner on Saturday 30th at 7 pm at the Garden House Inn for which registration is required. Please note any dietary requirements you may have.


Saturday the 30th of March

9:30-10 Welcome

10:00-11:00 Prof. Franco Trivigno (Oslo)

‘Plato’s Definition of Comedy’

11:00-12:00 Dr. Fritz-Gregor Herrmann (Swansea)

‘Plato's Republic and Aristophanic Comedy’

12:00-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:30 Mr. William Strigel (Trinity College Dublin)

‘Plato’s Comic Principles: On the Ascetic Socrates’

14:30-15:30 Prof. Richard Hunter (Cambridge)

‘Alcibiades the Laughter-Maker’

15:30-16:00 Tea Break

16:00-17:00 Assoc. Prof. Sonja Tanner (Colorado)

‘Socrates’ Imaginary Ridicule: Laughter in Plato’s Hippias Major’

17:00 Reception

19:00 Dinner

Sunday the 31st of March

9:00-10:00 Dr. Sarah Miles (Durham)

‘Platonicomic Business: Comedy and Platonic Dialogue in Theages’

10:00-11:00 Dr. Dave Preston (London)

‘Asininity, Arrogance, and Alazoneia: The Reception of Philosophy in the Fragments of Middle Comedy’

11:00-11:30 Tea Break

11:30-12:30 Dr. Alan Roberts (Sussex)

‘Humour is a Funny Thing’

12:30-13:00 Concluding Statements

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