30th Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar: Roman Milestones

University of Tasmania (Hobart), July 4-6 2016

To mark the 30th Pacific Rim Seminar, the convenors invite proposals for papers addressing the theme of ‘Roman milestones’ in Latin literature. In a literal and figurative capacity, Roman milestones feature in many genres of Latin writing, and offer suggestive frames for its interpretation. Milestones were innovative symbols of achievement and cultural reach, marking the progress of individual journeys, and signifying the broader extent (and limit) of Roman authority. As texts themselves, milestones were artefacts of Roman colonialism: their dedications advertised the Roman status of elite provincial citizens; their inscribed place-names Latinised pre-existing local identities and reoriented them within a system that endorsed Rome’s position as the centre of empire. In semiotic terms Rome’s network of milestones not only affirmed Rome’s centrality but invites an overtly linear understanding of Rome’s conception of its own space and cultural influence.

Proposed papers on ‘Roman milestones’ might address Latin literary engagement with topography, and/or with epigraphy; the subjects of colonialism, travel and tourism; the genre(s) of ‘travel writing’. More figuratively, proposed papers might address aspects of Roman literary progress, achievement, and hegemony; the extent and limits of a literary canon; the positioning of definitive texts as ‘milestones’ in terms of which other works measure their approach or distance.

Papers may be 20 minutes with ten minutes of discussion time, or 40 minutes with 20 minutes of discussion time. The Pacific Rim Seminar does not run parallel sessions, so participants can attend any or all papers.

Abstracts of 300 words (maximum) may be sent to the convenors at PacRimSeminar@gmail.com.

Offers are welcome from graduate students and early-career researchers as well as established academics. In your abstract please specify whether you prefer a 20 or 40-minute presentation slot.

Deadline for abstracts: 29 February 2016 (earlier submissions very welcome).

Convenors: Jonathan Wallis & Emma Donnelly.

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