Focusing on Contexts and Contextualisation

Kontexttagung Potsdam, Programmflyer-1

Just a few days ago I received the programme of a conference that will be held at the University of Potsdam in Mai. I am really looking forward to attend the venue, as it approaches the topics I am interested in from a very interesting angle.

In a first step when dealing with fragmentarily preserved texts, scholars usually try to find out where and how the pieces have been preserved and this involves to focus on the context of transmission. But quite soon it has to be acknowledged that this is only one aspect of the issue. There are several other ways of understanding the concept of context. One could for instance focus on the primary context, either of the preserved item or of the whole work to which it belongs. This can imply the public for which the work was composed, but also the original passage from which the item was taken (if this is still possible to know).

However, from another point of view and especially when focusing on quotations, one could wonder whether or not one may be allowed to believe ancient readers and their understanding of their sources. They must have had some thoughts about their sources before quoting a textual sequence from a given work. To some extent they had more knowledge then we have, as they had more (entire) texts at their disposal. On the other, however, they had other interpretative tools than we have today and this sometimes leads to a shift in the meaning of the passage, which is sometimes seen as a difficulty.

But, as the programme of the conference shows, this double distance, between a text, its many ancient reuses and our modern reading, should not only be seen as problematic. A new context can also reveal a creative way of engaging with a previous author and his views.

Programme:
1. Die Theorie des Kontextes
Birgit Neumann (Düsseldorf): Text, Kontextualisierung und Assoziierung: Der Eigensinn literarischer Kontexte
René Nünlist (Köln): Kontext und Kontextualisierung als Kategorien antiker Literaturerklärung
Thomas A. Schmitz (Bonn): Kallimachos und seine Musen – Erzähler­instanzen in den Aitien
Ute Tischer (Potsdam): Autor, Erzähler, Figur. Zur Typologie des Kontextes bei der Deutung von Zitaten

2. Fehlender Kontext
Markus Schauer (Bamberg): Kontext und Fragment. Zur Geschichte der Römischen Tragikerfragmente
Alexandra Trachsel (Hamburg): Ein Homererklärer im falschen Kontext? Beispiele aus der Fragmentsammlung des Demetrios von Skepsis
Beate Hintzen (Bonn): Kontextualisierung, De- und Re-Kontex­tu­a­li­sie­rung am Beispiel von Solons Lebensalterelegie (frg. 27 West)
Monica Berti (Leipzig/Tufts University): The Leipzig Open Fragmentary Texts Series

3. Kontextualisierung, Textproduktion, Rezeption
Christopher Whitton (London): Commentary and context: The example of Plinius‘ Letters
Martin Bažil (Prag/Rostock): Neukontextualisierung als Sinnstiftung: Semantische Kontextstrategien in den spätantiken Vergilcentonen
Benjamin Hübbe (Berlin, FU): Von Geiselnahmen und Gefangenschaften –
‚Historisch-kulturelle Kontextualisierungen‘,‚kulturelles Wissen‘ und die Dichtungen des Dracontius
Ursula Gärtner/Karen Blaschka (Potsdam): Gleichnis – Fabel – Topos. Neukontextualisierung als literarische Strategie
Peter Kuhlmann (Göttingen): Kontexte: Seneca und stoische Kernbegriffe im Kontext römischer Werte
Oliver Ehlen (Jena): Chariton von Aphrodisias im Kontext antiker fiktionaler Prosa

For more details, see the flyer below!

Kontexttagung Potsdam, Programmflyer

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