Symposium : “ Staging Authority in Ancient Times ”

Call for paper

November the 21st & 22d 2013

ENS de Lyon ERAMA junior labo­ra­tory (Expressions et Représentations de l’Autorité dans les Mondes Anciens / Expressions and Representations of Authority in the Ancient Worlds), is orga­ni­zing a sym­po­sium on the ways of sta­ging autho­rity, on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd November 2013 at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. These repre­sen­ta­tions of autho­rity are often codi­fied and form an inte­gral part of autho­rity itself, unders­tood as being a pro­cess of the accep­tance of hie­rar­chy as legi­ti­mate, dis­tinct both from rhe­to­ric and vio­lence. Authority beco­mes partly effec­tive in pro­por­tion with the awa­re­ness of its repre­sen­ta­tions and mani­fes­ta­tions. Its per­cei­ved image, as well as the image it tends to give of itself to be esta­bli­shed or enfor­ced, must then be kept under control.

This call for papers is pri­ma­rily tar­ge­ted at doc­to­ral stu­dents and young resear­chers wor­king on Antiquity from various pers­pec­ti­ves : lite­rary, his­to­ri­cal, phi­lo­so­phi­cal, epi­gra­phic, archaeo­lo­gi­cal, etc. By com­bi­ning these dif­fe­rent types of research and fields of study, the sym­po­sium aims at a better unders­tan­ding of this phe­no­me­non, which can link and inte­grate poli­ti­cal, eco­no­mic, social and cultu­ral aspects. In accor­dance with ERAMA’s voca­tion, we will mainly stick to the tra­di­tio­nal time span from pro­to­his­tory to the emer­gence of bar­ba­rian king­doms and we intend to include the Greek and Roman worlds as well as other civi­li­za­tions of the Mediterranean basin.

Understanding the ways of sta­ging autho­rity and high­ligh­ting what is spe­ci­fic to each autho­rity inclu­des taking into account both case stu­dies and more gene­ral ana­ly­ses, and deci­phe­ring spe­ci­fic mecha­nisms as well as ana­ly­sing long-term evo­lu­tions. Thanks to a ratio­nal, chro­no­lo­gi­cal and the­ma­tic orga­ni­za­tion of the contri­bu­tions of each par­ti­ci­pant, some cha­rac­te­ris­tics of autho­rity, common to our various fields of study, will be iden­ti­fied and defi­ned : which means are used to out­line, intro­duce, spread, put into prac­tice or com­me­mo­rate autho­rity ?

The dif­fe­rent inter­ven­tions will have to fit into one of the fol­lo­wing two axes :

Axis 1 – Representing authority : objects and gestural patterns

The pur­pose of this first part of the sym­po­sium is to put into ques­tion the concep­tion an autho­rity has about itself by stu­dying the dif­fe­rent forms it takes accor­ding to the image of itself it wants to convey, whe­ther it refers to lite­rary or ico­no­gra­phic repre­sen­ta­tions, spe­ci­fic trap­pings of power (such as the throne, the scep­tre or the crown, etc.) or even ritual or cere­mo­nial prac­ti­ces (ini­tia­tion, inau­gu­ra­tion cere­mo­nies, triumph, fune­rals, and other cele­bra­tions), within a pre­cise time and space fra­me­work.

Axis 2 – Spreading authority : beyond hic et nunc

This second part of the sym­po­sium will focus on the impact of autho­rity through space and time, taking into account the ways and means people vested with autho­rity resor­ted to in order to spread it and assert their posi­tion, either to esta­blish, to main­tain or to ensure its per­pe­tua­tion in col­lec­tive memory. Epigraphic ins­crip­tions, archi­tec­to­nic choi­ces, ono­mas­tic data, inter­tex­tual phe­no­mena, eco­no­mic and cultu­ral exchan­ges, or the use of coins for mone­tary trans­fer are poten­tial means and mate­rials used in this res­pect.

Proposed papers must be sent through the Internet to ERAMA at era­, before 31st March 2013, in the form of a 300-maxi­mum-word abs­tract. Please men­tion the title chosen and indi­cate pre­ci­sely which axis you have selec­ted. Answers will be sent within two months. Presentations, deli­ve­red either in French or in English during the sym­po­sium, should not exceed 25 minu­tes and may be used for fur­ther digi­tal publi­ca­tion.


Proposals : era­

Informations : Jérôme Bastick