Classicists are nothing if not experts on absence. A large part of their day job is filling gaps and breaking silences, to make something of the textual wrecks and material ruins of their favourite lost world. But handling absence with care is more than a scholarly obligation. Many ancient texts are buoyed and rocked by their own uplift of omission and amnesia; what they leave out and pass over in their subterranean ‘textual unconscious’ is often as important as what they let into the light. Latin texts offer particularly volcanic terrain for tracking and connecting many forms of absence: political, ideological, psychological, aesthetic, rhetorical, methodological (to name a few and omit more). This conference will line up a unique team of early-career and established scholars to study how these volumes do their un-speaking, and how such silences help structure our own approach to the ancient world.



Tom Geue (St Andrews)

Elena Giusti (Cambridge)


Confirmed Speakers:

Stefano Briguglio (SNS Pisa)

Barbara Del Giovane (Florence)

Catharine Edwards (Birkbeck)

William Fitzgerald (KCL)

Erik Fredericksen (Princeton)

Nicola Gardini (Oxford)

Nora Goldschmidt (Durham)

Philip Hardie (Cambridge)

John Henderson (Cambridge)

Duncan Kennedy (Bristol)

James McNamara (Victoria University of Wellington)

Ellen O’Gorman (Bristol)

Ellen Oliensis (Berkeley)

Joanna Paul (Open University)

Giuseppe Pezzini (St Andrews)

Holly Ranger (Birmingham)

Victoria Rimell (Warwick)

Lydia Spielberg (Nijmegen)

Ábel Tamás (ELTE Budapest)

Kathrin Winter (Heidelberg)

Alexei Zadorojnyi (Liverpool)