The Classics Graduate Student Association of the University of Virginia announces its eleventh annual Graduate Student Colloquium, "Per Purum Tonans: Aspects of the Natural and the Supernatural in Antiquity", to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, March 24, 2007.

Christopher Faraone, Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago will deliver a keynote address entitled "The Community of Women in Ancient Greece: Interpersonal Cursing and Dispute Resolution in Sanctuaries of Demeter Thesmophoros." Professor Faraone has published primarily and extensively on ancient cult and magic, including Ancient Greek Love Magic (1999) and Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives: New Critical Approaches (2003, co-edited with D. Dodd).

This colloquium will explore the construction and perception of the natural and the supernatural in antiquity. How are the natural and the supernatural defined and represented? Where do philosophy and science attempt to draw the line between the two? Where does art? How does mortal nature differ from immortal nature? Can mortals transcend their nature as such? How do the ancients experience the supernatural within the natural world, for example through portents and omens? How do they manipulate these signs to political and military ends? How do authors use the natural and the supernatural in support of their literary agendas? How and why do ancient societies integrate some manifestations of the supernatural and marginalize others? How are women and various social groups particularly associated with the supernatural? How do their concerns play out in ritual and magic? How have ancient conceptions of the supernatural left their mark on the urban and rural landscape? How have ancient representations of the supernatural influenced later literature, art, religious practices, etc.? What modern methodologies have been used or misused to approach the ancient conceptions of the natural and the supernatural?

Feel free to contact colloquium organizers Zoe Stamatopoulou (zs2j at virginia.edu) and Tom Garvey (tag8f at virginia.edu) or webmaster Dan Barber (dtb3t at virginia.edu) with any questions.