9-10 May 2019, University of St Andrews

Convened by: Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis
Supported by: the School of Classics at the University of St Andrews, the Institute of Classical Studies, the Classical Association and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

The conference explores discourses and experiences of the marvellous in Graeco-Roman culture, through a variety of sources, including literature and material culture. A key aim is to investigate the role of medium and genre in the ‘texture’ of the experience of the marvellous. Two current scholarly approaches in particular offer new pathways into this subject:

  1. New materialism, the agency of the object, embodiment
  2. Increasing awareness of diversity amongst those experiencing the marvel (across race, gender, age, disability, social status)

These approaches offer the possibility of writing ‘micro histories’ of specific, individual, possibly marginalised, or popular, experiences of marvels and setting these against broader cultural discourses, shedding light on the way that the marvellous intersects with other important areas of culture, in particular religion, technology and travel. The conference aims to bring together scholars from across the sub disciplines of Classics (in particular literature, archaeology and art history, philosophy) to benefit from a variety of methodologies, including, but not limited to, phenomenological, sensory and embodied approaches.