Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral


20th and 21st July 2016
The Pearson Room, Exeter Cathedral Cloisters

This two-day international conference will shed light on quotation culture in the ancient world, bringing together scholars with interests in Greek and Latin literature, ancient literary criticism and modern literary theory. The aim of the event is to establish new, methodologically sophisticated approaches to quotation in classical antiquity, to mark out a distinctively classical space within the emerging field of ‘quotation studies’, and to generate new insights that could feed back into other areas of literary and cultural studies.

A considerable range of Greek and Latin authors and texts fall within the range of the project, including poets, dramatists, orators, philosophers, literary critics, historians, ancient scholars, compilers of anthologies and encyclopedias, etc. Ancient authors and topics specifically under discussion during this conference will include Athenaeus, Cicero, Hesiod, Martial, Lucian, Menander, Ovid, Pindar, Plutarch, Seneca the Elder, Tacitus, Terence, Tyrtaeus, and many others.

The papers and discussions will engage with questions such as the following:

• What is a quotation?
• How is quotation related to, or distinct from, other phenomena such as citation, allusion, intertextuality, etc.?
• How are quotations used, and by whom, and in what contexts?
• Which authors are most often quoted, and why?
• What is the function of quotations in ancient criticism and the ancient reception of literature more generally?
• What can the practice of quotation or excerption tell us about ancient reading practices?
• How does quotation relate to notions of authorship and authority? (Whose words or thoughts are embodied in a quotation?)
• What difference can a focus on quotation make to our view of ancient book culture versus performance culture, or to the textuality-versus-orality debate?
• Can we talk in terms of a cultural politics of quotation in antiquity?
• What can study of quotation use tell us about cultural memory?
• Does the habit of quotation alter significantly over time?

At the heart of all these specific questions is a much more basic question, which is of the utmost relevance to any reader, scholar, student or critic: that is, what are we doing when we quote?

Click here for the conference booklet, including a full Programme.

There is no registration fee, but space is limited, so prior booking is essential. To book a place at the conference please complete the booking form Booking Form and send to Matthew Wright or contact Matthew to request more information.