Conference Programme

‘Classical Marvels’, University of St Andrews, 9-10 May 2019 School of Classics, Swallowgate, S11; (coffee / lunch in the Library)

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

9.15-9.30 Registration

9.30-9.45 Introduction
Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews)

Session 1: Texts, Objects and Space

Chair: Dr Jon Hesk (Senior Lecturer in Greek and Classical Studies)

9.45-10.15 Paper 1
Professor Karen Ni-Mheallaigh (Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter) ‘The glass imaginary: towards a substance and sociology of the marvellous’

10.15-10.45 Paper 2
Anna Athanasopoulou (PhD candidate, University of Cambridge) ‘Unflattening’ space: the material fabric of marvellous architecture in Lucian’s Hippias

10.45-11.15 Coffee

Session 2: Material Culture

Chair: Professor Rebecca Sweetman (Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of St Andrews)

11.15-11.45 Paper 3
Dr Hugo Shakeshaft (Junior Research Fellow, Christ Church College, Oxford) ‘Temple C at Selinous: a case study in the marvels of Archaic Greek religion’

11.45-12.15 Paper 4
Dr Eris Williams-Reed (Teaching Assistant, Durham University) ‘Environmental marvels at Roman Yammoune in Beqaa Valley (Lebanon)’

12.15-13.15 Lunch

Session 3: Definitions and discourses

Chair: Dr Kelly Shannon-Henderson (Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Alabama)

13.15-13.45 Paper 5
Dr Peter Singer (Research Fellow, Birkbeck College, University of London) ‘No wonder? Medical and philosophical narratives of amazement in the Platonic tradition’

13.45-14.15 Paper 6
Dr Jessica Lightfoot (Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge) ‘Words or wonders? The place of marvel making in the contest of Demosthenes and Aeschines’

5 Minute Break

Session 4: Contemporary Marvels

Chair: Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews)

14.20-14.45 Presentation 1: Local marvels: St Andrews, golf and the public engagement
Presentations by Raley Abramczyk and Michael Sheffield (UG research assistants) on their research in June 2018 on marvels and golf in contemporary St Andrews drawing on video interviews; and presentation by Raley Abramcyk, Honours student on CL4605 ‘Classical Bodies’ on public engagement with P2/3 Lawhead School on the theme of ‘Marvellous Bodies’.

14.45-15.30 Presentation 2: Practitioners’ perspectives
Presentations by visual artist Ruth Ewan on her work ‘Sympathetic Magick’ commissioned by the Edinburgh Art Festival 2018 to reanimate the sense of magic as a powerful tool for social change (as opposed to mass entertainment); and by Ian Saville, socialist magician, who participated in the project, on the practitioner’s experience of eliciting the sense of the marvellous in the audience.

15.30-16.00 Tea

Session 5: Break out Discussion Groups & Round Table

16.00-16.45 Discussion Groups

Group 1: Dr Pamina Fernandéz Camacho (Lecturer at the University of Cádiz) (C26):
‘To explain the unexplainable: Strabo Geography 3.5.7 and the intellectual approach to marvels’

Group 2: Colin MacCormack (PhD candidate, University of Texas at Austin) (S12):
‘Marvelous Animals, Monstrous Animals: Venomous Serpents in Nicander’s Theriaca (282-319) and Lucan’s Bellum Civile (9.700-36, 805-14)’

Group 3: Dr Fiona Mitchell (Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham) (C31):
‘Marvellous people in Greek accounts of India: Ctesias Fr. 45.20, 45.40-42 & Megasthenes Fr. XXIX and Fr. XXXIII’

Group 4: Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews) (S4):
‘Archaeological artefacts and the sense of marvellous: intimate encounters with textures’

Group 5: Jessica Venner (M3C AHRC PhD Candidate, University of Birmingham) (S11):
‘The Mimesis of ‘Human Nature’ in the House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii’

16.45-17.30 Round Table

Half hour break / making our way to the Bell Pettigrew Museum

18.00-19.00 Drinks Reception & Magic Performance by Ian Saville at Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History

19.15 Conference Dinner at Tail End

Session 6: Ekphrasis and Technology

Chair: Professor Karen Ni-Mheallaigh (Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter)

9.00-9.30 Paper 1
Tatiana Bur (PhD candidate, University of Cambridge) ‘The mēchanē and/as religious marvel’

9.30-10.00 Paper 2
Professor Ian Ruffell (Professor of Greek Drama and Culture, University of Glasgow) ‘Mechanics of performance: Negotiating marvels in the Hellenistic world’

10.00-10.30 Paper 3
Dr Maria Gerolemou (Leventis Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Exeter) ‘Technical Wonders in Byzantine ekphraseis’

10.30-11.00 Coffee

Session 7: Animals and Humans

Chair: Professor Jason König (Professor of Greek)

11.30-12.00 Paper 4
Dr Martin Devecka (Assistant Professor, University of California Santa Cruz), ‘Danger Mouse: Marvelous animal behavior in Roman zoology’

12.00-12.30 Paper 5
Dr Kelly Shannon-Henderson (Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Alabama), ‘Tacitus and Paradoxography’

12.30-13.00 Paper 6
Dr George Kazantzidis (Assistant Professor of Latin Literature, Patras) ‘Towards a poetics of wonder in early Greek paradoxography: mental patients in the pseudo-Aristotelian Περὶ θαυμασίων ἀκουσμάτων’

13.00-14.00 Lunch

Session 8: Nature and Religion

Dr Jessica Lightfoot (Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge)

14.00-14.30 Paper 7
Dr Irene Pajón Leyra (Assistant Professor, Seville) ‘Between extraordinary and miraculous, or How to transform natural curiosities to real wonders in ancient paradoxography’

14.30-15.00 Paper 8
Dr Claire Jackson (College Teaching Associate, Sidney Sussex, University of Cambridge) ‘‘A Beauty not human but divine’: thauma, beauty, and interpretation in Chariton’s Callirhoe

15.00 – 15.15 Tea in S11


Session 9: Final discussion & Conclusions

15.45 Departure

(This finish time is designed to allow people to make it to the last flights and trains south).