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FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 31/12/2020
FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 05/05/2020
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Liège (Liège, Belgium)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Laëtitia Dolne
As part of the 2019-2020 edition of the interuniversity doctoral Seminar Synoikismos, the committee is organising a thematic conference on May 5, 2020 at the University of Liège. This year, the theme will be the technological progress in the study of ancient worlds. For this occasion, we have the pleasure to invite PhD students and young researchers of Belgian or foreign universities whose research topic is related to this subject to present their project.
The topic will be addressed from two perspectives:
1. History of technological innovations and the methodological impact on our disciplines
“Exegi monumentum aere perennius”, wrote Horace. This line seems to foreshadow the long-lasting interest of humanity for the ancient world. Studies on the ancient world, which have developed over the centuries, owe their vitality to the evolution of their methods, which adapt to the spirit of each era. But to what extent has our perception of the classical period evolved with the methods and techniques used to reconstruct its image? First of all, we would like to reflect on the impact of technological progress on the study of our fields: from the invention of the printing press to digital editions, from plaster casting to 3D reconstructions, each step of this technological evolution has helped to clarify, improve or even change the representation of the past.
More generally, cultural protagonists of each era have tried to interpret the traces left by ancient civilisations and to modernise them for various purposes into a message understandable by their contemporaries. The study of these cultural operations, that took place from antiquity until the present day, is the core element of Reception Studies.
Therefore we also wish to consider the way each era has looked at antiquity: how did it influence the study of ancient worlds? Can research achieve ‘objectivity’? What has been done in the past and what is the trend today?
2. Digital era: the tools of tomorrow in Classical and Oriental Studies
Since the ‘50s, computing has constantly evolved and reached always more areas of human activity. Research on ancient civilisations is no exception, having always relied on new technologies for improvement. Nowadays, in 2020, there probably isn’t any research project left which isn’t based, directly or indirectly, on the use of digital tools. These are as numerous as the many fields of Classical and Oriental Studies: XML and the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative for encoding texts in a digital format (e. g. A collection of Greek Ritual Norms – CGRN project at ULiège), 3D modeling and visualisation softwares for digital photogrammetry of archaeological items (e. g. Warriors on the Periphery project at ULB), online databases collecting texts, people or places of the ancient world (e. g. Trismegistos project at KU Leuven) or statistical and quantitative methods for analysing languages (e. g. Laboratoire d’Analyse Statistique des Langues Anciennes – LASLA at ULiège). Yet, digital tools are still poorly known by researchers of our disciplines and might scare them to some degree, since they haven’t been trained for these skills. Which are the digital tools of tomorrow? In which areas of Classical and Oriental Studies are they used? How can we use and include them in a research project?
We would like to address these two aspects of the topic in two different ways: on the one side by discussing the impact of these tools on our research methods, on the other by exploring some of them through practical application. For this reason, there will be both oral presentations and workshops during the conference, according to the proposals we will receive.
Every PhD student who is interested (at any stage of his research) is kindly invited to submit an abstract of the subject he wishes to present (250 words max.), specifying whether he prefers to do an oral presentation and/or a practical demonstration of a tool, as well as a short biography (150 words max.) to the Synoikismos Seminar (email@example.com) for December 31, 2019 at the latest. Each talk (in French or in English) will last up to 30 minutes and will be followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Further information on the organisation of the workshops will be provided later on.