CfP: Globalizing Ovid: Shanghai 2017

Call for Papers:

Globalizing Ovid

An International Conference in Commemoration of the Bimillennium of Ovid’s Death

Guangqi International Center for Scholars of Shanghai Normal University

May 31–June 2, 2017

Jointly sponsored by the Chinese National Social Science Foundation, Shanghai Normal University, and Dickinson College

Robinet Testard, Ipsipile scrive a Giasone (Source: Folia Magazine)

Robinet Testard, Ipsipile scrive a Giasone (Source: Folia Magazine)

Keynote speakers:

  • Michael von Albrecht (Universität Heidelberg)
  • Maurizio Bettini (Università di Siena)
  • John Miller (University of Virginia)
  • Alison Sharrock (University of Manchester)
  • Gareth Williams (Columbia University)
  • Wei Zhang (Fudan University)

Welcome addresses:

  • Fritz-Heiner Mutschler (Universität Dresden/Peking University)
  • Yang Huang (Fudan University)

Concluding address:1

  • Laurel Fulkerson (Florida State University)


Why Shanghai?

One may be surprised to learn that this is not the first time that an anniversary of a Latin poet is commemorated in China. 1930, the Bimillennium of Vergil’s birth, represented a watershed in the reception of Vergil and Roman literature in China. Aeneid Book I and Eclogues IV and VIII were translated into Chinese for the first time. The translator praised Vergil’s “modern” spirit: his critical attitude toward Empire, his questioning of the cost of civilization, his doubts of the value of progress, and his portrayal of the loneliness of his main characters. A little before 1930, well-known poet Dai Wangshu translated Ovid’s Ars Amatoria into vernacular Chinese prose based on Ovide: L’Art d’Aimer in the Collection Budé. These translations were both products of and participants in the Chinese exploration of modernity and a “New Culture,” a process that involved a full scale reexamination of a wide range of issues, from the status of the Confucian canon, relationships with authority, modes of heroism, gender roles and sexuality, to ways of expressing desire and emotion. It was only after a long hiatus that complete translations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Vergil’s Aeneid appeared in 1958 and 1984 respectively, both created by Yang Zhouhan (1915–1989), working from the original Latin and various English translations. Today there is a remarkable surge in interest in both Chinese and Western classics in China. Latin literature is gaining momentum at a speed faster than one could have imagined a generation ago. In 2015 the Chinese National Social Science Foundation announced “Translating the Complete Corpus of Ovid’s poetry into Chinese with Commentaries” (PI: Jinyu Liu) as one of the major projects to fund in the next five years. With this initiative, Ovid’s Fasti and exile poetry will be translated into Chinese for the first time, his other poems will be retranslated, and comprehensive commentaries will accompany the translations of all of Ovid’s poems for the first time.

Consilium resque locusque dabunt (Tristia I.1.92) This conference serves as an opportunity not only to pay tribute to Ovid, but also to promote cross-cultural conversations about the globalization of the Greco-Roman Classics. The conference invites papers that represent the most recent developments in the Ovidian scholarship—philological, textual, critical, literary, and historical—as well as contributions that explore perspectives from comparativism, translingualism, and postclassicism to address larger issues of translating and interpreting the Classics in a globalizing world. These two strands of themes should not be perceived as being either isolated from or in competition against each other, especially if scholars and translators of Ovid are understood as participants in assigning meanings to his work. The conference intends to bring together scholars and translators to explore the dynamic processes of selection, tension, and negotiation that have been integral to the making and interpreting of Classical canon, including Ovid. How has Ovid been taught, disseminated, transmitted, and evaluated in Roman antiquity and in other cultures? If the viability of the Greco-Roman Classics in the postclassical eras, and in the non-Western contexts hinges on the willingness of the host cultures to assign new meanings to them, what may motivate that “willingness,” and through whose agency? What are those new meanings? Where and how are they being worked out and developed? What translation strategies have been applied to Ovid’s poetry in different locales and languages, and for what audiences? What are the challenges of translating Ovid in cultures with their own vibrant but different poetic traditions, and literary culture concerning themes of love, abandonment, transformation, and exile? How and where are Classics changed by their interaction with different host cultures?

Topics and abstract submissions:

The conference will include plenary addresses, individual paper presentations, as well as roundtables organized by project team members and the board of referees (see below). In accordance with the dual function of the conference both to highlight current scholarship and trends in thinking on Ovid and to consider modes of cross-cultural reception, comparison, and translation, we provide the following list to illustrate the range of questions and topics in which the conference is interested. It is by no means an exclusive or restrictive list:

  • Amor: Force of destruction?
  • Emotions in Ovid
  • The dearth of same-sex relationships in Ovid
  • Intertextuality in Ovid: What’s new?
  • The Ovidian aesthetics
  • Ovid’s literary persona(e)
  • Ovid’s lieux de mémoire
  • The psychology of exile in the Ovidian corpus
  • The human and Roman past(s) in Ovid
  • Ovid in provinces and Roman imperialism
  • Locus urbanus versus locus barbarus in Ovid
  • Seduction in ancient literature: a comparative examination
  • Tales of Transformation compared (within Metamorphoses, across genres, and/or across cultures)
  • The Ovidian corpus: critical editions
  • Teaching Ovid in Antiquity and/or the modern world
  • Translating Ovid (and Classics in general) in a Global Context
  • Visualizing Ovid
  • Post-classical Ovid (reception and adaptation in all genres)
  • Commentary tradition and digital commentary

We welcome submissions from advanced doctoral students and scholars of all seniorities. Please send brief vitae and proposals (300 words excluding bibliography) for 25-minute papers by April 30, 2016 to Jinyu Liu, HH 117, Department of Classical Studies, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN 46135, USA, or email: both and

Abstract submissions will be evaluated by a board of seven referees, whose names are listed below, and the results will be announced by June 1, 2016:

  • Christopher Francese (Dickinson College, USA)
  • Laurel Fulkerson (Florida State University, USA)
  • Steven Green (Yale-NUS, Singapore)
  • Jinyu Liu (DePauw University/Shanghai Normal University, USA/China)
  • Lisa Mignone (Brown University, USA)
  • Bobby Xinyue (University of Warwick, UK)
  • Wei Zhang (Fudan University, China)

Publication plan:

Selected contributions will be translated into Chinese, and published in either a collected volume or Chinese academic journals. The authors will retain copyright to the non-Chinese versions of their articles. The possibility of publishing the conference proceedings in English with a European or American publisher will also be explored.


  • Heng Chen (Shanghai Normal University)
  • Christopher Francese (Dickinson College)
  • Jinyu Liu (DePauw University/Shanghai Normal University)

*Please send all inquiries to Professor Jinyu Liu at

Join us as we make history!


Toward a Multimedia Latin Grammar

What sort of Latin and Greek grammars do we need online? How can existing public domain resources be re-worked, modernized, and leveraged to best serve the community of Latin and Greek learners and scholars going forward?

The current state of things is best represented by The Perseus Project, which early on digitized important English language grammars by Smyth (Greek) and Allen & Greenough (Latin), among others.

Allen & Greenough at Perseus: hyperlinked and searchable

Allen & Greenough at Perseus: hyperlinked and searchable

This version of  A&G has hyperlinks, and navigation by chapter number, and is searchable.

At DCC we have been working online grammars for a few years, and the results so far have been a newly digitized Greek Grammar by Thomas Dwight Goodell, and a revised digital version of Allen & Greenough’s Latin Grammar, based on XML files kindly provided by the Perseus Project. As we prepare to revise Allen & Greenough again in the process of moving it to Drupal (the CMS for our main site), it seemed like a good time to ask for ideas and suggestions on what would be most useful. First, some background.

In the fall of 2013 Kaylin Bednarz (Dickinson ’15) scanned a copy of the 1903 printing of Allen & Greenough so that we had good quality page images. Then she cleaned the existing XML files from the Perseus Project, linking the XML files to the photo scans on Dickinson servers.

The main changes to the XML involved correcting errors and simplifying and altering some XML tags. Here is an example of the source XML from Perseus of ch. 26

Perseus XML for Allen & Greenough ch. 26

Perseus XML for Allen & Greenough ch. 26

The DCC version looks like this:

DCC Allen & Greenough ch. 26 XML

DCC Allen & Greenough ch. 26 XML

Using the new scans Kaylin also created new XML files for the index of the book, which had not been included in the Perseus version. The purpose there was to make the book browseable via the index, which is important for user utility, and absent in all other online versions. For example, a search in the Perseus version for the term indirect discourse yields six results, rather confusingly displayed, and you could sort through and find what you need. But the index itself is analytical and gets you right where you want to go.

Index page added to Perseus digitization of Allen & Greenough

Index page added to Perseus digitization of Allen & Greenough


Kaylin then created html files based on the XML. She was assisted and trained in the use of Oxygen software (which converts the XML into web-ready html) by Matthew Kochis, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at Dickinson.

In late March, Dickinson web developer Ryan Burke uploaded the page images, html, and XML files to Dickinson servers, and created the web interface for our version of A&G. This revealed issues of formatting: indentations were often not preserved, resulting in lack of clarity. Some character formatting was not right, especially in charts, and footnotes from the original print resource were not clearly displayed. Forward and back buttons had to be put in for each of the 638 sections.

Meagan Ayer (PhD in classics and ancient history, University of Buffalo, 2012) began work hand-editing Allen & Greenough html files, removing errors and fixing formatting, adding navigational infrastructure using Adobe Dreamweaver. A few missing XML files had to be added and converted to html.

All this work is now complete, and the results I would characterize as somewhat underwhelming. The interface is not attractive, and navigation and searching, always a weak point in the Perseus version, has only been marginally improved (though I do use that index fairly regularly). More importantly, there is no easy way to add things, like audio, video, test question banks, anything. In the fall of 2015 Meagan and I designed a content type in Drupal so that we could transfer the existing html pages into a more flexible and media-friendly box. Ryan Burke built the content type, and Meagan is now in the process of transferring content and making colored versions of the charts as .jpg files that could be consulted as a group. The Drupal version will allow for linked translations, as with our core vocabulary. For example, we hope to have a Chinese version in the next five years. Drupal’s translation module allows us to keep all versions tied together and easily edited. Drupal also has tagging features for enhanced searchability, and allows for embedded and tagged images, audio, and video.

For the design we went with a three column format (as in Perseus) to aid in readability. Navigation is on the left, and we reserved the right sidebar for media. For this version we combined several chapters on a single page (node) when that seemed logical. For example, sections 53-55 all discuss and summarize the types of 3rd declension nouns, so it seemed perverse to make three separate nodes in Drupal for that. In effect we have created a new table of contents (with two levels, and expandable), while preserving the standard reference system by numbered chapters. This in itself should aid in finding. Here is a page with sample audio and video players, and the page image at the right. The new TOC (still in development as the pages are created) is at the left: DCC_AG_with_media

And here is a sample with one of Meagan’s colored charts. You can also see the chart as a downloadable .pdf, and download the XML if you wish.

DCC_AG_with_chartsNow that we have a designated zone (at the right) for media, what exactly should go there? Pedagogical advice? Video a la Khan Academy? Banks of multiple choice quizzes? Commentary that modernizes the discussion of the grammar? Examples for the corpus of Latin (a la Logeion)? What do you think?