Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
- George Gazis (Durham University)
- Emma-Jayne Graham (The Open University)
- Katerina Ierodiakonou (University of Athens/Université de Genève)
- Chiara Thumiger (University of Warwick/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
The conference will be divided into four sessions, each focused on specific aspects of ancient senses and their study:
(i) ‘Sensing the world’ will explore some of the theories of sense-perception put forward in antiquity. The emphasis will be placed on some of the epistemological issues that follow from the different ways in which ancient philosophers explained the relation between the perceiver and the external world, e.g. on the kind of knowledge we acquire through our senses, and the phenomenon of misperception.
(ii) ‘Sensing ruins’ will explore the possibilities offered by sensorial approaches to the study of material culture in classical antiquity. We invite contributions engaging with all the aspects of the physicality of the ancient world and its reception and welcome proposals which seek to present the material in a sensorially engaging and non-traditional way.
(iii) ‘Sensing the body’ will investigate the involvement of the senses in ancient beliefs and theories about disease and the body. This session will be particularly devoted to exploring the connections between literature, medicine and philosophy in the Greco-Roman world, by focusing on their relations with the senses and the human body.
(iv) ‘Sensing beauty’ will broaden the discussion, debating the role of the senses in early aesthetic theory. While encouraging contributions on traditional themes, e.g. mimesis and the sublime, the organizers will give priority to papers that focus specifically on the role of sensorial perception in the theorising of beauty in antiquity, and on how the ‘sensorial turn’ in classical scholarship can deepen our understanding of the early philosophical engagement with beauty and art.
*We aim to publish the results as an edited volume in the Mind Association Occasional Series published by Oxford University Press. Speakers will present preliminary versions of articles to be published in the conference volume.
We especially encourage academics in the early stages of their career to apply (including final-year PhD students), but also welcome proposals from established academics. Applicants are kindly invited to submit the following documents:
1. An anonymised abstract of no more than 500 words (papers should be suitable for 30 min presentations). Abstracts should include (i) the thesis of your paper; (ii) a clear presentation of the main argument you will put forward in support of that thesis; (iii) a brief explanation of the novelty of your argument/thesis; (iv) and an indication of how the argument/thesis fits within the current scholarship on the matter.
A limited number of bursaries (of around 70£) will be available for selected speakers to cover part of their travel expenses, but we encourage them to apply for bursaries from their home institutions. We are aiming to offer a limited number of bursaries to attendees too. Further details will be given at a later stage. The registration fee will be 25£ (covering welcome reception, coffee and lunches), and 15£ for graduate students.
The conference is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Mind Association.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chiara Blanco (University of Cambridge)
Giacomo Savani (University of Leicester)
Rasmus Sevelsted (University of Cambridge)
Cristóbal Zarzar (University of Cambridge)