Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

The Department of Classics has a strong history of organizing symposia that allow scholars to present their latest research and propose new directions for scholarship. Many of these proceedings have been published in our own publication series. Below is a list of the most recent conferences and symposia held at UC.

Beyond Magna Graecia: New Developments in South Italian Archaeology
November 12-14, 2009
Organized by Kathleen Lynch, Thomas Carpenter, and Edward Robinson.

This conference will contribute to the rapidly evolving field of South Italian archaeology. Traditional views see the colonial Greeks in South Italy as the producers and consumers of Apulian pottery. Recent excavations and revaluations of archaeological evidence reveal a radically different picture: Italic people, not the colonial Greeks, are more likely to be the producers and consumers of these objects. This revelation opens the door to important and exciting questions about the meaning of “hellenisation” in South Italy. Were Greek tragedies and comedies performed during the 4th Century in Italic communities like Ruvo di Puglia and Canosa? What was the nature of trade between mainland Greece (particularly Athens) and the Italic people? Did Italic ideas influence Attic arts and religion as well as vice versa? What are the implications of the rich 4th Century Italic tombs at Ruvo and Rutigliano? What was the function of monumental (1.45m h) Apulian figure decorated vases?

We believe this conference can be a watershed moment in the study of Apulian material culture. Although Italian archaeologists have been publishing results of new excavations in regional journals, and scholars from Germany, the UK, Australia, and America are writing on this topic, never has there been a single conference devoted to the subject, nor has there been a synthetic publication of the topic in English. The goal of the conference is to bring these individual, multilingual voices together, but also to provide an introduction and assessment of an important topic with which many scholars have little acquaintance. Proceedings will be published, and speakers will be assigned appropriate topics so that the publication and the conference presents a sound introduction to the topic, its problems, and a better understanding of the evidence.

Constructing 'Literacy' Among the Greeks and Romans
April 28-29, 2006
Organized by William Johnson
Proceedings: William Johnson, Holt Parker, eds. Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome (Oxford University Press, 2009). available

The goal of this two-day symposium is to try to formulate new, interesting, productive ways of talking about 'literacy' in the ancient world—'literacy' not in the sense of whether 10% or 30% of people in the ancient world could read or write, but in the sense of a text-oriented event embedded in a particular socio-cultural context. Interest in constructivist modes of attack is revealed in the formulation of the title, but there is no insistence on that or any other viewpoint. Rather, the symposium is intended as a forum in which selected leading scholars try to rethink from the ground up how students of classical antiquity might best approach the question of 'literacy' in classical antiquity, and how that investigation might materially intersect with changes in the way that 'literacy' is now viewed in other disciplines. The result is intentionally pluralistic: theoretical reflections, practical demonstrations, and combinations of the two share equal space in the effort to chart a new course.

The New Posidippus
November 7-9, 2002
Organized by Kathryn Gutzwiller
Proceedings: Kathryn Gutzwiller, ed., The New Posidippus:  A Hellenistic Poetry Book (Oxford University Press, 2005).  available

The Milan Papyrus offers the most significant discovery of new Greek literature in several decades. It consists of 606 verses distributed among about 112 epigrams, apparently all composed by Posidippus of Pella, an epigrammatist of the third century B.C. It constitutes our earliest surviving example of a poetry book and illustrates how Greek epigrams were transmitted in literary contexts. The Cincinnati conference brought together leading experts in the fields of papyrology, Hellenistic and Roman literature, art and image studies, and Ptolemaic history to analyze and discuss this important artifact. The conference, open to the entire scholarly community, was designed to combine the presentations of individual scholars with ample discussion and learning.

Plato as Author: the rhetoric of philosophy
Nov 11-14, 1999
Organized by Ann Michelini
Proceedings: Ann Michelini, ed., Plato As Author: The Rhetoric of Philosophy (Cincinnati Classical Studies New Series, Brill, 2003) available

A symposium on Literary Approaches to Platonic Texts. The Symposium brought together scholars from the US, Canada, and Europe, working from different viewpoints and different disciplines on literary aspects of the Platonic texts.

The Aegean and the Orient in the Second Millennium
April 18-20 1997
Organized by Eric Cline and Diane Harris-Cline
Proceedings published in 1998 by Liège Press (Aegaeum 18).

This conference, supported by the Semple Fund of the Classics Department of the University of Cincinnati, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, and the Cincinnati Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, honored the 70th anniversary of Carl Blegen and Marion Rawson's arrival at the University of Cincinnati in 1927 and the 50th anniversary of the publication of Kantor's influential AIA Monograph in 1947.
Topics covered the interactions of the Aegean with Egypt and the Near East, including discussions of commerce, art, and technology. The first day of papers were devoted to exploring and updating topics addressed by Kantor in her monograph. The second day of papers were devoted to topics of interest to Blegen and Rawson, including overviews of the relations between the Aegean and other areas of the Eastern Mediterranean. The third day focused on presentations by scholars investigating the future directions for the field.

Other symposia organized (since 1975)

1992-93 K. Gutzwiller/ Ann Michelini Symposium on “Feminism and the Classics”
1986-87 C. Habicht Cicero the Politician
1984-85 E. Gruen Studies in Greek Culture and Roman Policy
1982-83 A. Mopurgo Davies Linear B and Linguistics
1981-82 C. Boulter Greek art : Archaic into Classical
1979-80 J. Ward-Perkins New Directions in the Study of Roman Architecture
1978-79 G. Cadogan The End of the early Bronze Age in the Aegean, Symposium honoring J. Caskey
1976-77 D. Lewis Sparta and Persia
(Honoring Donald Bradeen)
1975-76 B. Fenik Homer: Tradition and Innovation