Conference Announcement: Writing The Embodied Experience in Imperial Ecphrasis



Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, 4th–5th September 2019

Twitter: @EmbodEcphrasis

How did the Greeks and Romans experience and describe their spectacles and material artefacts in the Imperial period? Were they concerned only with ‘de-coding’ these artefacts and performances to show off their cultural intellect or did they frame a more sensuous, embodied encounter with them? Were they as interested in form as in content, in the body as in the brain?

The aim of this two-day conference is to bring to bear ‘the sensory turn’ in Classics onto scholarship of Imperial ecphrasis to begin inquiry into these questions. It will provide a platform to discuss the ways in which the full range of the senses, agency, materiality and mediality, as well as the less explored concepts of embodiment, presence, and affect are employed in both Greek and Latin Imperial texts. For a fuller discussion of aims please see our website.

10 papers will be pre-circulated to all participants in due course, before being responded to at the conference by selected respondents.

Confirmed Speakers:
Verity Platt (University of Cornell)
Jonas Grethlein (University of Heidelberg)
Carole Newlands (University of Colorado Boulder)
Basil Dufallo (University of Michigan)
Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi (Stanford University)
Karin Schlapbach (University of Fribourg)
Calum Maciver (University of Edinburgh)
Edmund Thomas (University of Durham)
Anna Athanasopoulou (University of Cambridge)
Albert Bates (University of Cambridge)

Confirmed Respondents:
Michael Squire (King's College London)
Ruth Webb (University of Lille)
Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge)
Helen Lovatt (University of Nottingham)
Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (University of St Andrews)
Caroline Vout (University of Cambridge)
Robin Osborne (University of Cambridge)
Richard Hunter (University of Cambridge)
Helen Slaney (University of Roehampton)
Emma Greensmith (University of Cambridge)
Benedek Kruchió (University of Cambridge)

Booking details will follow soon.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact any of the co-convenors listed below.

With kind regards,

Anna Athanasopoulou (

Albert Bates (

Benedek Kruchió (