Reading Roman Declamation
Call for Papers
Montpellier, France, November 22nd / 23rd - 2012
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25th/26th September - 2013
London, UK, 2014
Charles Guérin (Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III and Institut universitaire de France)
Martin Dinter (KCL)
Marcos Martinho and Paulo Martins (University of Sao Paulo).
Recently scholars have lavished their attention on controversiae and suasoriae and have allowed these genres to leave their corners of neglect. Important studies by Gunderson (2003), Berti (2007) and Frazel (2009) have placed declamatio centre-stage and illuminate social concepts, educational practices or Roman jurisdiction. Naturally, when placed into its socio-historical context the body of declamations that has come down to us (Seneca the Elder, Ps.-Quintilian and Calpurnius Flaccus) echoes its cultural, social and literary background. These texts are not independent and have to be read within their contexts, but at the same time they also constitute a genre on their own, the rhetorical and literary framework of which remains not yet fully explored. What are the poetics of declamatio?As a genre situated at the cross-road of rhetoric and fiction, declamatio offers a kind of freedom and ability to experiment new forms of discourse, and calls for both a technical and literary analysis. If one places the literariness of declamatio into the spotlight (van Mal-Maeder 2007), it becomes possible to study it as a realm of genuine literary creation with its own theoretical underpinning – rather than simply reading it as a gratuitous practice mimicking the practice of real orators.
For this project, we will hold three events, focussing on one author at a time :1. A first event focused on Seneca the Elder in Montpellier in 22nd/23rd November 2012. Confirmed key note speakers: Anthony Corbeill (Kansas) and Danielle van Mal-Maeder (Lausanne). 2. A second event on (Ps)-Quintilian's declamations in Sao Paulo in Sept. 2013.Confirmed key note speakers: Joy Conolly (NYU) and Sylvie Franchet d'Esperey (Paris IV -Sorbonne). 3. A third small event (workshop) in 2014 on Calpurnius Flaccus in London.
We plan to edit a selection of the papers for a volume focussing on Roman declamation in English.
***We invite abstracts for the first two events, Montpellier 2012 and Sao Paulo 2013.
Abstracts of not more than 300 words for 20 min papers in English or French should be sent to by February 15th 2012: email@example.com