Constructing 'Literacy' Among the Greeks and Romans

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.

All lectures are free and open to the public. You must preregister by April 21 in order to attend the keynote event at the Taft Museum on Friday. We encourage all to preregister, regardless, if you will be attending more than one lecture.

The speakers for this symposium are: Barbara Burrell (University of Cincinnati), Joseph Farrell (University of Pennsylvania), Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge), Thomas Habinek (University of Southern California), George W. Houston (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), William A. Johnson (University of Cincinnati), Kristina Milnor (Barnard College, Columbia University), David R. Olson (University of Toronto), Rosalind Thomas (Oxford University), Peter van Minnen (University of Cincinnati), Peter White (University of Chicago), Greg Woolf (University of St Andrews).


Barbara Burrell
Joseph Farrell
Simon Goldhill
Thomas Habinek
George W. Houston
William A. Johnson
Kristina Milnor
David R. Olson
Rosalind Thomas
Peter van Minnen
Peter White
Greg Woolf