Boundaries Between Bodies Symposium
Boundaries Between Bodies: Human, Animal, Divine
April 28-30, 2006
In the classical world, the cosmic order was enacted, in part, through bodies. The evaluative divisions between, for example, humans and animals, mortals and immortals, women and men, could all be played out across the terrain of somatic difference, embedded as it was within wider social and cultural matrices.
But things are never so simple. Aristotle, famously, could not find corporeal distinctions to fit his theory of natural slavery, while the dressing and ornament of bodies, the postures and attitudes they adopt, might just as easily serve to elide or invert, as reflect or reinforce, differences of sex and status. Humans might become divine, and the gods sometimes struggle with their own physicality, quite apart from the occasions on which they metamorphose into animals, thus crossing two boundaries at once.
This symposium seeks to explore these thematics of bodies and boundaries: to examine further the ways in which bodies, lived and imagined, were implicated in issues of cosmic order and social organisation in classical antiquity. Papers will draw on a range of evidence and approaches, cover a broad chronological and geographical span, and pay equal attention to the ways bodies can transgress and dissolve, as well shore up, or even create, boundaries and hierarchies; to the way that boundaries are constantly negotiated, shifted, and refigured, through the practices and potentialities of embodiment.
Annetta Alexandridis (Rostock), Rebecca Flemming (King’s College London), Thorsten Fögen (Humboldt-Universität Berlin), Sophie Lalanne (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), Mireille Lee (Macalester), Charles Pazdernik (Grand Valley State), Alex Purves (UCLA)
FRIDAY, 28 APRIL
Reception & Dinner
Film: Becoming a woman in Okrika, by Judith Gleason
SATURDAY, 29 APRIL
Sophie Lalanne (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne): Introduction
Thorsten Fögen (Humboldt-Universität Berlin): Ancient reflections on ‘gestus’, ‘vultus’ and ‘vox’
Nancy Worman (Barnard): Twist and shout. Bodies and styles in Greek rhetoric
Mireille Lee (Macalester): Boundaries of bodies. Body-modification in classical Greece
Rebecca Flemming (King’s College London): All boundary or no boundary? The ancient prognostic body in action
Lauren Petersen (Delaware): From slave to Roman citizen. The freedman body
Charles Pazdernik (Grand Valley State): The body (politic) in (ceremonial) space. Shifting boundaries between rulers and subjects in Justinianic Constantinople
Dirk Krausmüller (Dumbarton Oaks): Becoming male in a female manner. Patriarch Methodius of Constantinople on the perfect man
SUNDAY, 30 APRIL
Alex Purves (UCLA): On legs and feet. Anthropomorphism from the waist down
Annetta Alexandridis (Rostock): Shifting species. Animal and human bodies in Greek iconography of metamorphosis
Maud Gleason (Stanford): Humans and animals in Galen and Apuleius. Marking and transecting boundaries, sliding between species
CHS members and participants from surrounding universities: Lauren Caldwell (Georgetown), Catherine Keesling (Georgetown), Hugh Lee (UMd), Molly Levine (Howard), Victoria Pedrick (Georgetown), Eva Stehle (UMd), Hérica Valladares (JHU)