Send your Call or Congress to

Classical Marvels Conference -09-10/05/2019, St Andrews (Scotland)

The conference explores discourses and experiences of the marvellous in Graeco-Roman culture, through a variety of sources, including literature and material culture. A key aim is to investigate the role of medium and genre in the ‘texture’ of the experience of the marvellous. Two current scholarly approaches in particular offer new pathways into this subject:

  1. New materialism, the agency of the object, embodiment

  2. Increasing awareness of diversity amongst those experiencing the marvel (across race, gender, age, disability, social status)

These approaches offer the possibility of writing ‘micro histories’ of specific, individual, possibly marginalised, or popular, experiences of marvels and setting these against broader cultural discourses, shedding light on the way that the marvellous intersects with other important areas of culture, in particular religion, technology and travel. The conference aims to bring together scholars from across the sub disciplines of Classics (in particular literature, archaeology and art history, philosophy) to benefit from a variety of methodologies, including, but not limited to, phenomenological, sensory and embodied approaches.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 09-19/05/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of St Andrews (St Andrews, Scotland)


INFO: web -



Conference Programme School of Classics, Swallowgate, S11; (coffee / lunch in the Library) Day 1, 9 May 2019 9.15-9.30 Registration 9.30-9.45 Introduction Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews) Session 1: Texts, Objects and Space Chair: Dr John Hesk (Senior Lecturer in Greek and Classical Studies) 9.45-10.15 Paper 1 Professor Karen Ni-Mheallaigh (Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter) ‘The glass imaginary: towards a substance and sociology of the marvellous’ 10.15-10.45 Paper 2 Anna Athanasopoulou (PhD candidate, University of Cambridge) ‘Unflattening’ space: the material fabric of marvellous architecture in Lucian’s Hippias’ 10.45-11.15 Coffee Session 2: Material Culture Chair: Professor Rebecca Sweetman (Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of St Andrews) 11.15-11.45 Paper 3 Dr Hugo Shakeshaft (Junior Research Fellow, Christ Church College, Oxford) ‘Temple C at Selinous: a case study in the marvels of Archaic Greek religion’ 11.45-12.15 Paper 4 Dr Eris Williams-Reed (Teaching Assistant, Durham University) ‘Environmental marvels at Roman Yammoune in Beqaa Valley (Lebanon)’ 12.15-13.15 Lunch Session 3: Definitions and discourses Chair: Dr Kelly Shannon-Henderson (Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Alabama) 13.15-13.45 Paper 5 Dr Peter Singer (Research Fellow, Birkbeck College, University of London) ‘No wonder? Medical and philosophical narratives of amazement in the Platonic tradition’ 13.45-14.15 Paper 6 Dr Jessica Lightfoot (Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge) ‘Words or wonders? The place of marvel making in the contest of Demosthenes and Aeschines’ 5 Minute Break Session 4: Contemporary Marvels Chair: Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews) 14.20-14.45 Presentation 1: Local marvels: St Andrews, golf and the public engagement Presentations by Raley Abramczyk and Michael Sheffield (UG research assistants) on their research in June 2018 on marvels and golf in contemporary St Andrews drawing on video interviews; and presentation by Raley Abramcyk, Honours student on CL4605 ‘Classical Bodies’ on public engagement with P2/3 Lawhead School on the theme of ‘Marvellous Bodies’. 14.45-15.30 Presentation 2: Practitioners’ perspectives Presentations by visual artist Ruth Ewan on her work ‘Sympathetic Magick’ commissioned by the Edinburgh Art Festival 2018 to reanimate the sense of magic as a powerful tool for social change (as opposed to mass entertainment); and by Ian Saville, socialist magician, who participated in the project, on the practitioner’s experience of eliciting the sense of the marvellous in the audience. 15.30-16.00 Tea Session 5: Break out Discussion Groups & Round Table 16.00-16.45 Discussion Groups Group 1: Dr Pamina Fernandéz Camacho (Lecturer at the University of Cádiz) (C26): ‘To explain the unexplainable: Strabo Geography 3.5.7 and the intellectual approach to marvels’ Group 2: Colin MacCormack (PhD candidate, University of Texas at Austin) (S12): ‘Marvelous Animals, Monstrous Animals: Venomous Serpents in Nicander's Theriaca (282-319) and Lucan's Bellum Civile (9.700-36, 805-14)’ Group 3: Dr Fiona Mitchell (Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham) (C31): ‘Marvellous people in Greek accounts of India: Ctesias Fr. 45.20, 45.40-42 & Megasthenes Fr. XXIX and Fr. XXXIII’ Group 4: Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews) (S4): ‘Archaeological artefacts and the sense of marvellous: intimate encounters with textures’ Group 5: Jessica Venner (M3C AHRC PhD Candidate, University of Birmingham) (S11): ‘The Mimesis of ‘Human Nature’ in the House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii’ 16.45-17.30 Round Table Half hour break / making our way to the Bell Pettigrew Museum 18.00-19.00 Drinks Reception & Magic Performance by Ian Saville at Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History 19.15 Conference Dinner at Tail End Day 2, 10 May 2019 Session 6: Ekphrasis and Technology Chair: Professor Karen Ni-Mheallaigh (Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter) 9.00-9.30 Paper 1 Tatiana Bur (PhD candidate, University of Cambridge) ‘The mēchanē and/as religious marvel’ 9.30-10.00 Paper 2 Professor Ian Ruffell (Professor of Greek Drama and Culture, University of Glasgow) ‘Mechanics of performance: Negotiating marvels in the Hellenistic world’ 10.00-10.30 Paper 3 Dr Maria Gerolemou (Leventis Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Exeter) ‘Technical Wonders in Byzantine ekphraseis’ 10.30-11.00 Coffee Session 7: Animals and Humans Chair: Professor Jason König (Professor of Greek) 11.30-12.00 Paper 4 Dr Martin Devecka (Assistant Professor, University of California Santa Cruz), ‘Danger Mouse: Marvelous animal behavior in Roman zoology’ 12.00-12.30 Paper 5 Dr Kelly Shannon-Henderson (Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Alabama), ‘Tacitus and Paradoxography’ 12.30-13.00 Paper 6 Dr George Kazantzidis (Assistant Professor of Latin Literature, Patras) ‘Towards a poetics of wonder in early Greek paradoxography: mental patients in the pseudo-Aristotelian Περὶ θαυμασίων ἀκουσμάτων’ 13.00-14.00 Lunch Session 8: Nature and Religion Dr Jessica Lightfoot (Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge) 14.00-14.30 Paper 7 Dr Irene Pajón Leyra (Assistant Professor, Seville) ‘Between extraordinary and miraculous, or How to transform natural curiosities to real wonders in ancient paradoxography’ 14.30-15.00 Paper 8 Dr Claire Jackson (College Teaching Associate, Sidney Sussex, University of Cambridge) ‘‘A Beauty not human but divine’: thauma, beauty, and interpretation in Chariton’s Callirhoe’ 15.00 - 15.15 Tea in S11 15.15-15.45 Session 9: Final discussion & Conclusions 15.45 Departure (This finish time is designed to allow people to make it to the last flights and trains south).

categorías / tags / categorie

Fasti Congressuum is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional License
© 2014 by Fasti Congressuum. Proudly created by M. Cristina de la Escosura