Fifteenth Annual Graduate Student Colloquium, Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, March 19, 2011.
The Classics Graduate Student Association of the University of Virginia announces its Fifteenth Annual Graduate Student Colloquium, to be held in Charlottesville on March 19, 2011. Ralph Rosen, Rose Family Endowed Term Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver a keynote address entitled "Grandstanding, Groveling and the Greek Comic Hero."
Achieving greatness is not merely a question of asserting superiority over others, but also depends on the ability to convince others that one has accomplished something worthy of respect and admiration. The ancient world provides countless examples of individuals who tried to demonstrate their own greatness in relation to real or imagined rivals, whether through military exploits, politics, philosophy, literature, art, or architecture. Sometimes these claims were successful, but at other times they fell short and were rejected by their intended audiences. Although the idea of greatness is frequently invoked in discussions of antiquity, the ways in which it was constructed, challenged, and broken down are not sufficiently understood.
This colloquium will aim to investigate how groups and individuals (political actors, authors, artists, religious figures, literary characters, etc.) assumed or asserted their superiority over others, and to explore how others responded to these boasts. By bringing together papers that look at both successful and failed claims to greatness from a variety of perspectives, we hope to come to a better understanding of a concept that is nearly ubiquitous in the life and literature of the ancient world.
Any questions may be addressed to colloquium organizers Harriet Livesay (hhl7z at virginia.edu) or Christopher L. Caterine (clc4ed at virginia.edu).