The Art 0f Praise: Panegyric and Encomium in Late Antiquity

Organizer: Paul Kimball, Bilkent University

Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity

Near the turn of the last millennium two collections of essays appeared which called our attention to late antique panegyric.The Propaganda of Power: The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity, ed. Mary Whitby (1998) underlined the genre’s public and political contexts, while Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity, edd. Thomas Hägg and Philip Rousseau (2000) explored its links with the forms and practices of biography and hagiography. The contributions to both volumes made it clear that from origins in the fourth century BCE to the end of antiquity (and beyond), panegyric proved a long-lived and highly adaptable platform for the articulation of social relations and the values that supported them. At the meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Boston, Massachusetts from 4-7 January 2018, the Society for Late Antiquity will sponsor a session to revisit the significance of the rhetoric of praise in late antiquity. We are especially interested in proposals that examine what, if anything, was distinctively “late antique” about late antique panegyric and encomium. In addition to papers addressing this specific question, we also welcome submissions on all aspects of these genres in late antiquity: theory and practice, political and private contexts, literary and declamatory presentations, prose and verse, parodic and ironic, etc.

Abstracts for papers requiring a maximum of twenty minutes to deliver should be sent no later than February 15, 2017by email attachment to Paul Kimball at pkimball@bilkent.edu.tr. All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees. Prospective panelists must be members in good standing of the SCS at the time of submission and must include their membership number in the cover letter accompanying their abstract. Please follow the SCS’s instructions for the format of individual abstracts: https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/guidelines-authors-abstracts. The submission of an abstract represents a commitment to attend the 2018 meeting should the abstract be accepted. No papers will be read in absentia and the SLA is unable to provide funding for travel to Boston.

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