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18th Trends in Classics


30 May – 1 June 2024



Cognitive Theory and Later Latin
Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period

Thessaloniki, May 30 – June 1, 2024

International Conference

Department of Classics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Institut für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie, University of Freiburg
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck

The growing dialogue between the modern study of human cognition and the humanities has recently also reached Classics. Scholars have looked at the way cognition is explicitly or implicitly understood as distributed across brain, body and world in Greek and Roman society, culture, technology, science, medicine, philosophy, art, literature, and theatre. Our conference will project these questions onto late and post-antique Latin texts hitherto neglected in this context. There are no restrictions as to topics and texts. Philosophical theories about the nature of the soul, for instance, are as welcome as literary analysis of metaphors or sociological studies relating to the production and preservation of knowledge. All contributions, however, should:

  • fall in the period of c. CE 300–1800
  • ask questions from the perspective of distributed cognition (draw on theories of cognition as embodied, embedded, enactive and extended, accepting the complexity, multimodality and multicausality of human life)
  • reflect on the historical nature of the cognitive arrangements in the postclassical texts in question (e.g. when we meet a kind of aesthetic appreciation of mountains in the early modern period that was not there in antiquity and the Middle Ages)
  • reflect on the merits of the cognitive approach: how does it further our understanding and how does it add to other interpretations of texts?

We hope to engage an interdisciplinary dialogue which opens up new fields of research for both Latinists and cognitive scholars from related fields.

Organising committee

Anna Novokhatko, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Stefan Tilg, University of Freiburg
Florian Schaffenrath, Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Neulateinische Studien
Antonios Rengakos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki & Academy of Athens
Stavros Frangoulidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Further information can be found HERE.