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“Performing Texts”

Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song

6th Open Conference, July 1-5, 2020, Spetses, Greece

UPDATE: Registration is live for the conference, please see the conference website here. You may register for the conference here (the deadline to register is April 30th, 2020). The full program is available here: Full Program

Gregory Nagy (Classics, Harvard University) announces the 6th Open Conference, which is organized by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC (CHS DC) on behalf of the Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song. The organization of the Conference will be administratively and logistically supported by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece (CHS Greece).The conference will take place on the island of Spetses in Greece from July 1 to July 5, 2020. The topic of the conference is “Performing Texts.”

Some of the most notable recent work on Greek lyric poetry represents a critical departure from the preoccupation with occasion and performance that has largely defined its study for the past several decades. There is an emergent rediscovery of lyric as “literature,” and with it a growing sense that the focus on context and function can inhibit meaningful engagement with the full discursive, artistic, and ideational complexity and distinctiveness of the texts themselves. Renewed attention to the re-performance and reception of lyric poems has similarly challenged the interpretive privileging of (primary) performance contexts. Yet, while performance and occasion may no longer be considered the last word in the study of Greek lyric, there is no escaping the fact of their formative influence on the texts we read (even if that influence was not as simple or direct as has often been thought). The aim of this conference is to open what we hope will be an expansive, mutually enriching dialogue between performance-based approaches to lyric and the current (re)turn to its more literary and aesthetic aspects and effects. To that end, we invite papers that take fresh approaches to archaic and classical melic, elegiac, and iambic poetry as both text and performance, and that address the interaction between these two dimensions.

Abstracts of 500 words maximum should be sent to the academic selection committee ( by Sept. 30, 2019.

We hope to announce the program by Nov. 15, 2019.

Speakers will be offered free accommodation and meals, but no contribution can be made to travel expenses. Registration for the conference will open on November 30, 2019.

Please direct any questions or comments concerning the logistics and other practical arrangements of the Conference to