Commenting Fragments: the Case of Ancient Comedy – Invitation for Participation

From Stylianos Chronopoulos:

We are very pleased to post the invitation to participate in the conference “Commenting Fragments: the Case of Ancient Comedy”, that will be held at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau – July 2-7, 2012.

The project “Kommentierung der Fragmente der altgriechischen Komödie” (“A Commentary on the Fragments of Ancient Greek Comedy”) invites applications to participate in a one-week conference/workshop, “Commenting Fragments: The Case of Ancient Comedy”, to be held July 2–7, 2012 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. The workshop is part of a multi-year research project supported by the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften and directed by Bernhard Zimmermann. The goal of the project, which has been underway at the Albert Ludwigs University since January 1, 2011, is to produce commentaries on all surviving fragments of Greek comedy.

Applications are open to all, but younger scholars (including graduate students) and other individuals interested in producing commentaries on individual comic poets are particularly encouraged to apply. Further information on the project (which builds on the textual work of R. Kassel and C. Austin, Poetae Comici Graeci), and on its publications to date, is available at the homepage of the Seminar for Classical Philology:

The workshop will have two separate but related agenda.

Mornings (9-12 AM) will be occupied with a series of round-table style discussions of some of the challenges of commenting on fragmentary comedies. The first two sessions will be devoted to sample commentaries produced collectively by the participants, and will consider methodological and practical problems such as the use of parallels, argumentative structure, textual matters, handling of sources, citation practices, reconstruction of scenes and plays, and the like. More information will be provided with the application, but every participant in the conference will be expected to produce a sample commentary on 5–6 lines of Greek text. These samples will be due June 1, and will be combined and precirculated to all workshop participants. The final three morning sessions will be devoted to close discussion of substantial samples of draft commentaries produced by individual workshop participants. The precise number and arrangement of these sessions will depend on the number of samples submitted. These samples (25–30 doublespaced pages) will be due April 30, and will be similarly precirculated to all workshop participants. A final round-up session will be held on Saturday, 7 July.

Afternoons (3-7 PM) will be devoted to talks by recognized experts in the field on the general theme: “The Periodization and Dramatic Form of Greek Comedy”.
The provisional schedule of afternoon talks is as follows:

Monday July 2:
Bernhard Zimmermann (University of Freiburg) – “The Periodisation of Greek Comedy as Necessary – and Problematic.” (the talk will be in German)
Eric Csapo (University of Sydney) – “The Earliest Phase of Ancient Greek Comedy.”

Tuesday July 3:
Andreas Willi (University of Oxford, Worcester College) – “Epicharmos and Attic Comedy.”
Jeffrey Henderson (Boston University) – “Pherecrates and Athenian Comedy between 450 and 420 BC.”

Wednesday July 4:
Guiseppe Mastromarco (University of Bari) – “Euripidaristophanizein (Cratinus, fr. 342 K.-A.): Aristophanes and Euripidean Paratragedy.” (the talk will be in Italian)
Heinz-Günther Nesselrath (University of Göttingen) – “Periodisation of Ancient Greek Comedy in Hellenistic Philology.” (the talk will be in German)

Thursday July 5:
Ioannis Konstantakos (University of Athens) – “Tendencies and Variety in Middle Comedy.”
Benjamin Millis (University of Oxford) – “Comedy in- and outside of Athens in the 4th Century BC.”
S. Douglas Olson (University of Minnesota / University of Freiburg) – “And on to Rome. Aristophanes and Athenaeus.” (Key-note lecture)

Friday July 6:
Antonis Petridis (Open University of Cyprus) – “Before and after Menander.”
Michael Scott Fontaine (Cornell University) – “From Athens to Rome: From Greek to Latin Comedy.”

Talks will last 45-50 min. and will be followed by a one-hour discussion period. Those interested in participating should submit proposals by March 30, 2012. Proposals must include
(1) a short CV (no more than one A4-page)
(2) a statement of purpose (no more than 600 words) describing why you want to participate; if you have any previous experience working with fragmentary texts, ancient Greek Comedy or writing a commentary; and how you intend to use participation to advance your research.

Applicants who also wish to have their own work discussed in one of the morning sessions are invited to send a 20-pages sample of their work by April 30. No participation fee for the workshop is required. A presentation of the project “Kommentierung der Fragmente der griechischen Komödie” and a grand conference banquet will be held after the talks on the first day. Various free-time activities (e.g. city tours of old Freiburg, hiking in the Black Forest, a guided visit to the Freiburg Cathedral, collective readings of aristophanic comedies) will be offered as part of the unofficial program.
The working languages for the conference and workshop will be English, German and Italian.

Applications for participation March 30, 2012
Sample commentary (on 5-6 lines of Greek text), that each participant has to submit as basis for the discussion in the first two morning sessions June 1, 2012
Samples of draft commentaries (work in progress) to be discussed in the final three morning sessions April 30, 2012

Invitation for Participation (pdf)

For more information or to submit applications, please contact

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