Literary Interactions 2 (Rostock, june 19-20, 2014)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organising a conference


Following a lively and successful conference at St Andrew’s in June 2013, we are pleased to announce that the project ‘Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian’ will continue with a second conference at Rostock University on 19–20 June, 2014, organised by Christopher Whitton. A third, with an emphasis on Greco-Roman interactions, will be held at Boston University in summer 2015 under the direction of James Uden.
The project brings together researchers with an interest in Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrian literature to examine the texts and literary culture of this period collectively. Recent decades have seen exciting scholarship in this field, much of it in the form of single-author studies; but, as the papers and discussions at St Andrew’s showed, there is still much to be done in probing the connections (and disjunctions) between contemporary authors, including Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, Martial, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Juvenal, Suetonius, Appian, Arrian, Favorinus, Phlegon and Frontinus.
The Rostock conference will build on and develop this work, keeping the focus firmly on textual interactions and the social dynamics of literary production, with two particular areas of emphasis. A first goal is to address head-on methodologies of intertextuality (and the social literary models they imply), a long-lived question in Latin studies, but one for which literature of this period is particularly fertile ground for discussion: Martial, Pliny, Tacitus, Juvenal, to name just four, wrote works which are famously but elusively intertwined. How far are practices of allusion (citation, reworking, echoing) consistent, how far do they vary between authors and genres? What ways can we find to talk about gaps in dialogue, about the indeterminacy of these intertextual relations? And what audiences (contemporary and future, Roman and provincial) do we envisage for their reception? A second, interwoven strand is to expand dialogue between literary and historical study of the period. How can prosopography and social history help frame, and be informed by, our understanding of intertextuality? What can we gain by considering authors such as Suetonius, Plutarch and Dio alongside texts such as edicts, private and imperial letters, and the writings of jurists? Can this bridging of ‘literary’ and ‘documentary’ help us – to mention two hot points in current scholarship – come to grips with Pliny’s tenth book of Epistles and technical literature such as Frontinus’ De Aquis? How far can traditional models of intertextuality illuminate interactions among this wider corpus? The aim throughout is to enhance our understanding both of individual texts and of the literary and social culture(s) in which they were produced.
Period19 Jun 201420 Jun 2014
Event typeOther