Colloque – Telling Tales Out of School. Latin Education and European Literary Production

At an early stage in its history, Latin went from a vernacular language to the most pervasive and enduring cosmopolitan language in European history. Latin did not only function as the language for international diplomacy, but, more importantly, it also served as the Church’s liturgical language all over Europe and gave form to an intellectual climate that stimulated an extensive literary production. Literature written in Latin, from Roman Antiquity over the long Middle Ages to the early modern period, preserved and renewed literary and aesthetic standards. It laid the foundation for a European literature (and culture), which crossed national boundaries. Not surprisingly, ‘Great Authors’ such as Dante, Rimbaud, etc. that are now mainly known for their works in vernacular languages, also wrote several works in Latin.

In the development of this intellectual climate and literature, Latin education was a driving force. Latin education, as it took shape in Classical Antiquity, combined technical matters (morphology, prosody, metric, syntax,…) with broader ways of thinking such as rhetoric, literature, philosophy and theology. Hence, being educated in Latin always meant an initiation into a social, intellectual and literary elite. Most authors, even the ones who only wrote in vernacular languages, followed a Latin educational program and had a reading audience in mind that shared the same background.

The main focus of this conference will be the dynamic interaction between European literary production and Latin education as its undercurrent. At the two extremes, this relation can, on the one hand, be defined as one in which education only functioned as a transmitter of knowledge and literary attitudes; on the other hand, education can also be seen as a full part of the intellectual environment in which literary techniques, values and texts were not only transferred, but also evaluated and (re-)created. From the latter perspective, Latin literature and education were involved in a constant negotiation about (changing) aesthetic, social and historical elements. This conference seeks to cover the entire Latinitas from the institutionalization of Latin education, as embodied by Quintilian, to the end of Latin as a primary language of schooling in modern times.

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Programme :

Thursday 14/09

8.30 Arrival and coffee

9.00 Introduction

Morning session

9.15 – 10.15 Keynote lecture

Anders Cullhed (Stockholm University): Latinate Pranks and Exercises. Recycling Latin Classes in Western Lyric Poetry

10.15 – 10.35 Coffee break

Panel 1: Out of the Classroom. Remembering and Forgetting Latin.

10.35 Leon Grek (Princeton University): “I read it in the grammar long ago”. Forgetting Latin in the English Renaissance
11.05 Moa Ekbom (University of Gothenburg): Ripping Vergil Apart. The Nostalgia and Creativity of the sortes Vergilianae
11.35 Wim Verbaal (Ghent University): Beyond the Reach of Latin. The Emancipation of Western European Literatures from their Latin Background
12.05 Discussion

12.50 – 14.15 Lunch

Afternoon session
Panel 2: In Front of the Classroom. Latin Teaching and Authority (I)

14.15 Chrysanthi Demetriou (Open University of Cyprus): Teaching Controversial Topics at (Ancient) Schools: Donatus on Terence
14.45 Brian Jensen (Stockholm University): The Meaning and Use of Fabula in the ‘Dialogus creaturarum moralizatus’
15.15 Lucy Jackson (King’s College London): Audite Pueri! The Performance of Latin in Sixteenth-Century School Plays
15.45 Discussion

16.30 – 16.50 Coffee break

Panel 2: In Front of the Classroom. Latin Teaching and Authority (II)

16.50 Romain Jalabert (University of Bologna): « Sainte-Beuve, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, etc., et le Gradus ad Parnassum ». Proposition d’intervention
17.20 Ray Schrire (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): The Margins of Shakespeare’s Grammar
17.50 Discussion

18.30 Reception

Friday 15/09

Morning session

8.30 Arrival and coffee
8.45 – 9.45 Keynote lecture

Erik Gunderson (University of Toronto): The Morosophistic Discourse of Ancient Prose Fiction

9.45 – 10.00 Coffee break

Panel 3: In the Back of the Classroom. Latin in the Margins

10.00 Craig Williams (University of Illinois): American Indians Writing Latin in Colonial New England
10.30 Heréndira Tellez-Nieto (ENES-UNAM, Morelia): La enseñanza del latín en el Nuevo Mundo
11.00 Yanick Maes (Ghent University): Elevator to Prison: the Latin Schools as Tools among Berber Intellectuals
11.30 Discussion

12.15 – 13.30 Lunch

Afternoon session

Panel 4: In the Front Row. Latin Literature and Competition (I)

13.30 Piet Gerbrandy (University of Amsterdam): The ‘Hisperica Famina’ as an Ars Poetica
14.00 Arsenii Vetushko-Kalevich (Lund University): Nordic Gods in Classical Dresses: ‘De diis arctois’ by C. G. Brunius
14.30 Jacqueline Arthur-Montagne (High Point University): Lampooning Latinitas: The Comic Latin Grammar in Nineteenth-Century Britain
15.00 Discussion
15.30 – 15.50 Coffee break

Panel 4: In the Front Row. Latin Literature and Competition (II)

15.50 Fabio Tutrone (University of Palermo): Masks, Fathers and Writers. Latin Aemulatio from Literary Education to Social Reciprocity (and Back)
16.20 Jonathan Newman (Missouri State University): Dictaminal Education, Competition and Literary Culture in Early-Thirteenth-Century Bologna
16.50 Discussion

17.30 Round table : Future collaborations and publications

18.30 End of day 2

19.30 Conference dinner

Saturday 16/09

Morning session

9.00 Arrival and coffee
9.15 – 10.15 Keynote lecture

Rita Copeland (University of Pennsylvania): “Teaching the Schemata in the Middle Ages, from Techne to ‘Art’ ”
10.15 – 10.35 Coffee break

Panel 5: Crisscross through the Classroom. Latin Literature and the Religious Sphere

10.35 Concetta Longobardi (University of Naples Federico II): Testi scolastici tardoantichi e produzione innografica nell’Irlandia medievale
11.05 Monika Otter (University of Dartmouth): Hanc ego dissolvam: Freedom, Play, Poetry and the ‘Ecbasis Captivi’
11.35 Discussion

12.05 – 12.50 Concluding discussion

12.50 End of day 3

15.00 – 17.00 STAM Museum visit (optional)

Informations pratiques :

The conference will be held in STAM, the Ghent City Museum. It is located at the beautiful historical site of the Bijloke, Godshuizenlaan 29000, Ghent.

Registration : All participants who are not speakers at the conference must register online.

Conference dinner : On Friday evening we organize a conference dinner at Het Pakhuis. When registering for this event, please let us know in the online registration for if you have any dietary restrictions.

On Saturday there will be a guided tour through the Ghent City Museum around 3 in the afternoon. Registration for this event will take place in the course of the conference.

Source : UGent

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