How did the Imperial Greeks and Romans describe their experiences of spectacles? Were they concerned only with 'de-coding' these artefacts and performances to show off their cultural intellect or did they frame a more sensuous, embodied encounter with them? Were they as interested in form as in content, in the body as in the brain?
The aim of this two-day conference is to bring to bear 'the sensory turn' in Classics onto scholarship of Imperial ecphrasis to begin inquiry into these questions. It will provide a platform to discuss the ways in which the full range of the senses, agency, materiality and mediality, as well as the less explored concepts of embodiment, presence and affect are employed in both Greek and Latin Imperial texts. For a fuller justification of this conference's aims please see 'Aims' above.