Imagining the Edge:
Peripheral Spaces and Marginal Voices in the Ancient World
Eighteenth Annual Graduate Student Colloquium, Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, March 22, 2014.
The Classics Graduate Student Association of the University of Virginia announces its Eighteenth Annual Graduate Student Colloquium, to be held in Charlottesville on March 22, 2014. Erich S. Gruen, Wood Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California Berkeley, will deliver the keynote address
The margins of the ancient world are places at once extra-ordinary and at the heart of daily life. From Odysseus’ wanderings beyond the streams of Ocean, to the accounts by historians and ethnographers of far-off people and places, to Lucian’s outer space journey and the cosmic visions of Plato, Cicero, and Seneca, the outer boundaries of the known world held a deep fascination for the ancients. At the same time, the interplay between margin and center played a significant role in fashioning identity: whether provincial styles of art, the inscriptions of slaves and freedmen, or poets and philosophers who define themselves against a dominant tradition, voices on the periphery can seem both to challenge and affirm the center. How do we trace the dynamics of these interactions? Does the margin necessarily reinforce the center even as it strives to distinguish itself? Conversely, how does the center use the periphery in its self-definition? This colloquium will explore marginality in its geographical, architectural, physical, social, religious, and literary dimensions.