Monday, January 04, 2010

Some CFPs, etc.

It's my intention to be more active on this blog this year. But at the moment, I'm a bit short of content. So in the meantime, here are some notices.

Science Fiction Foundation: SF Criticism Masterclass for 2010

Class Leaders:
Istvan Csicsery-Ronay
Roz Kaveney
Justina Robson

The Science Fiction Foundation (SFF) will be holding the fourth annual Masterclass in sf criticism in 2010.

Dates: 11th June to 13th June 2010

Location: Middlesex University, London (the Hendon Campus, nearest underground, Hendon).

Delegate costs will be £180 per person, excluding accommodation.
Accommodation: students are asked to find their own accommodation, but help is available from the administrator (

Applicants should write to Farah Mendlesohn at Applicants will be asked to provide a CV and writing sample; these will be assessed by an Applications Committee consisting of Farah Mendlesohn, Paul Kincaid, Adam Roberts.

Completed applications must be received by 28th February 2010.

Democratic Inflections: Modern Performance of Ancient Drama

The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance announces a call for papers for APA 2011 (San Antonio) exploring the relationship between democratic ideology and classical tradition in modern performance.

We invite papers that would explore the question of a 'Democratic Turn' in modern reception of classical drama. The word democratic is highly contested, but in our conception it seeks to draw attention the ways in which classical texts have been appropriated by diverse cultural groups and sections of society, both those in dominant positions but more particularly those that define themselves as disenfranchised.

The panel aims to engage in the international debate on the notion of a 'Democratic Turn' in classical reception, initiated by The Reception of Classical Texts Research Project at the Open University (UK). Papers may pertain to all aspects of the history of performance of ancient drama, as well as to performances of modern works drawing upon the classical tradition (e.g., Gide, Sartre, O’Neill), but should make clear how democratic discourse is central to their analysis. The element of performance heightens the challenge to the use of drama for political ends because in performance a director must decide to how to represent issues and acts that can be deliberately left ambiguous in the interpretation of texts (e.g. rape). Therefore, we especially welcome papers that explore how modern performances deal with the social inequalities inscribed in classical plays; we are interested in the question of how modern directors represent ancient phenomena that cannot be reconciled with modern democratic ideologies (such as slavery).

Papers could offer case studies of politically- or socially-engaged performances of classical drama (e.g. the Lysistrata project), analyze the implications of the transmission of classical drama (including translation and the place of classics in school and university curricula), or consider whether staging ancient plays can still raise those questions essential to modern democracies.

For the 2011 meeting, abstracts must be submitted electronically by February 1, 2010 to Nancy S. Rabinowitz ( or Dorota Dutsch (

Presentations will normally be limited to 20 minutes. Please follow the guidelines for abstracts in the Program Guide (one page in 11-point type; 1.25 to 1.5 line spacing; top and right margins 0.8", bottom 1", left 1.2"; title in upper right-hand corner in 12-point, Times New Roman font). Your name should not be on the abstract, which should be an attachment in Word. Also indicate whether you expect to need audio-visual equipment. Acceptance for the program requires that one be a paid-up member of the APA. Anonymous referees for the Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance will review the abstracts.

Call for Papers: 2011 APA Outreach panel on classical reception and musical texts

The Children of Orpheus: How Composers Receive Ancient Texts

The musical qualities of classical poetry, from the epic and lyric of Homer and Sappho to the hymns of Venantius Fortunatus, and the affective power of music described by ancient theorists, have inspired adaptations and innovations since the Renaissance, In Florence, Caccini and Peri invented operas with the poetry of Rinuccini on the subject of Orpheus. Monteverdi wrote madrigals on sonnets adapted from Ovidian elegy, and Henry Purcell composed incidental music for Dryden's Amphitryon.

Art songs such as Brahms' Sapphische Ode and Schubert's Lied des Orpheus set texts inspired by ancient literature and mythology, Orff's cantatas Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Aphrodite set the texts of Catullus and Sappho, and Xenakis' Oresteia employs Aeschylus' Greek. Stephen Sondheim composed the scores for adaptations of Aristophanes and Plautus. In popular music, Led Zeppelin's "Achilles' Last Stand" and Bob Dylan's "Temporary Like Achilles" reference the heroes of epic.

The American Philological Association's Outreach Panel for the 2011 Annual Meeting in San Antonio invites papers that discuss texts set to music from 1400 to the presnt that are based on, or influenced by, ancient Greek or Latin literature, and analyze how their creators engaged with these texts through direct setting, adaptation, translation, or alteration. Subjects might include, but are not limited to, song-cycles, operas, oratorios, cantatas, hymns, film scores, or popular music.

This panel, organized by Professor Robert Ketterer of the University of Iowa and Professor Andres Simpson of the Catholic University of America, particularly encourages papers that discuss the structure or style of musical scores and texts in relation to their ancient sources, with the social, historical, or political conditions surrounding the creation of these works as secondary considerations.

Papers might productively ask such questions as:

To what extent--and with what significance--has the adaptation of the ancient work been altered to meet the requirements of its contemporary audience?

How do contemporary motivations--artistic, political, or otherwise--influence the musical works' structure and content as they interpret the ancient work?

Has the translation of a classical text into modern language and music impacted our interpretation of the ancient source?

Papers are to be no more than 20 minutes in length; presentations with strong aural and visual components are encouraged.

Anonymous abstracts of 500 words or less, should be submitted, by no later than January 26, 2010 to Judith P.Hallett, Please do not indicate your name on the abstract itself.

NOTE: the panel on Phi Beta Kappa and Classics originally announced as the 2011 APA Outreach panel will be taking place later in 2011, at another academic venue. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Professor Hallett at before February 1, 2010.