Sessions Seeking Proposals

What is Boethian? Problems in Interpreting the Prisoner’s Philosophy
Sponsored by the International Boethius Society

What makes a narrative Boethian, beyond mere inclusion of an allusion? What implications are there for interpretation of Boethius’s philosophy in a given narrative’s approach to incorporating The Consolation into its telling? When can a philosophy or theology which appeals to Boethius be deemed Boethian, and what degree of weight should we give to interpretations provided of Boethius by later thinkers, such as Aquinas in the Summa theologica?

Given the wide variety of things which fit into discourse about Boethius (the liberal arts, theology, philosophy, narrative, and beyond), what is it for such a topic to be Boethian? Papers from scholars working in literature, philosophy, history, art history, theology, music and beyond are all welcome. Abstracts should be 300 to 350 words and sent to Anthony G. Cirilla, acirilla@niagara.edu, no later than December 28th, 2016.

A Sainted Stoic: Finding Seneca in His Medieval and Renaissance Afterlife
Sponsored by the Society for the Appreciation and Study of Seneca the Younger

The nascent Society for the Appreciation and Study of Seneca the Younger announces their first CFP for a panel at the SMRS!

Despite having mixed appraisal in his own day and by later authors, Seneca the Younger achieved a status as a sort of pagan saint in the Middle Ages. A peculiar set of historical circumstances led to this: his mode of death was reminiscent of the deaths of Socrates (drinking hemlock) and Christ’s (pierced at the wrist), and baptism (allowed to bleed out in a steamy bath). His supposed conversion by Saint Paul (a result of some forged letters depicting their correspondence) led to the writing of Senecan hagiographies such as the one which appears in the Golden Legend, and the church father Tertullian refers to him as “our Seneca.” Boethius, gateway to things classical for many a medieval Christian thinker, treats him as an exemplary figure in The Consolation of Philosophy. Placed in Limbo by Dante, Seneca was guaranteed a relatively positive response from a medieval audience. In the Renaissance, on the other hand, Seneca became an influential figure on the stage, especially in terms of the genre of tragedy.

This call for papers seeks studies on the place of Seneca in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance especially in terms of the following points of interest:
Seneca’s influence on the “consolation” genre
Seneca’s role in the confluence of paganism and Christianity, whether literary, philosophical, or theological
Seneca’s potential impact as a moral essayist, letter writer, and dramatist in medieval literature
Studies which illuminate the early reception of Seneca and how these may have contributed to his medieval or Renaissance afterlife.
The influence of Seneca on Renaissance authors, especially on the stage.
Although these are primary interests of this CFP, we are also eager to look at ideas Seneca scholars might bring to the table to better inform our understanding of this figure, in regards to any aspect of his life and works. Abstracts for the Medieval Seneca should be 300-350 words and submitted to Anthony Cirilla at acirilla@niagara.edu by Dec. 28th.