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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Plato and Platonisms: The Constitution of a Tradition

10th Annual Comparative Literature Conference

The final Conference Program is no longer available for download.


Registration for the conference is still open. You will also be able to register on site.

Please mail all forms to:
Paul Allen Miller
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Columbia, SC 29208

Make checks payable to "CPLT Conference 2008"

*New - links are now available to some of the plenary speaker's biographies. Please see below.

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Call for Papers

Sponsored by the Departments of Languages, Literature, and Cultures, Philosophy, and Political Science

Plato and Platonisms: The Constitution of a Tradition
March 20-22, 2008
Directed by: Mark Beck, Jill Frank, Jeremiah Hackett, Paul Allen Miller,
Matthew Kenney and Heike Sefrin-Weis

Plato is in many ways a very contemporary author. The Platonic texts and the traditions they initiate remain at the center not only of analytic and continental philosophy, but are also founding moments in the history of political and literary theory, aesthetics, poetics, rhetoric, and law. In numerous dialogues, Plato revealed himself to be a literary craftsman of the highest caliber with a flair for dramatic presentation and psychologically refined portraiture. All of these factors combine to make Plato and Platonism endlessly rich resources calling for continuous exploration, interpretation, and a broad interdisciplinary perspective to do justice to the various texts and contexts in which Plato has had and continues to have a formative impact. In this spirit, the University of South Carolina announces an international and interdisciplinary conference on Plato and Platonisms from antiquity through the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present.

Plenary Speakers: 
Luc Brisson, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
John Dillon, Trinity College Dublin
Mary Louise Gill, Brown University
Stephen Halliwell, University of Saint Andrews
James Hankins, Harvard University
Richard Kraut, Northwestern University
Steven Shankman, University of Oregon

In addition to these plenaries, there will be panels exploring the development of Platonic tradition(s), Plato and his predecessors, literary aspects of Platonic dialogues, the reception of Platonism, Aristotle and Plato, Middle Platonism, and Neoplatonism. To this end, we invite papers that explore particular Platonic dialogues, themes across dialogues, works of authors claiming or disavowing a debt to Plato, as well as studies on other topics that touch on any of the myriad manifestations of Plato’s influence. In particular, we desire papers that pinpoint a connection, anchor it explicitly in Plato and show us how a certain motif, idea, doctrine etc. is a 'Platonism', rooted in a tradition and founded on a dialogue with Plato. We also invite papers that problematize the very traditions in which we have been trained to read Plato. What are they? Where are they located? How are they constituted? To what extent do they dictate our response to Plato and to what extent do they provide the means to think differently?

250 word proposals for twenty-minute papers, or 750 word proposals for three paper panels, should be sent to by September 1, 2007.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.