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Roman Error: The Reception of Ancient Rome as a Flawed Model

Friday, September 20, 2013
12:00 AM
3222 Angell Hall

The idea of large-scale Roman missteps—whether imperial domination, sexual immorality, political corruption, greed, religious intolerance, cultural insensitivity, or the like—has been a notion “good to think with” since antiquity, and persists in familiar comparisons between the Roman Empire and the present-day United States.  This conference seeks to go beyond a merely thematic discussion to  re-examine the connections between “Roman error,” broadly conceived, and basic features of the reception of antiquity including: misunderstanding and misprision, repetition and difference, the subject’s relation to a (remembered or unconscious) past, performance and illusion, and links between text and image.  If the Romans “erred,” what are the consequences for Rome’s inheritors as they attempt to construct a stable relation to Rome as a flawed “source” or model?  We ask not simply, “Are Rome’s errors ours?” but, “How does Roman error figure in the  reception of Rome itself?”

For more information contact Basil Dufallo:

This event is co-sponsored by: the Contexts for Classics research consortium, the Department of Classical Studies, the Departments of Comparative Literature, History, English, History of Art, Romance Languages and Literatures, Asian Languages and Cultures, American Culture, and Afroamerican and African Studies, the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute for the Humanities, the International Institute, the LSA Organize an Event Fund, and the Rackham Dean’s Strategic Fund.