We have planned three sessions: 1) Reading and Interpretive Activity during Ancient Meals (open call): The Greco-Roman meal is one potential context for reading and interpreting texts. However, while research into meals more or less presupposes that people have read during ancient meals, broader investigations of this topic and detailed analyzes of the sources concerning reading practices during ancient meals are lacking. The aim of this session is to initiate a scholarly discourse about reading and interpretive activities during “pagan,” Jewish and Christian meals in the ancient and late antique Greco-Roman world. Therefore, we would like to address the following questions:
What is the relation of the Roman institution of the recitatio, which was bound to the presence of the author, and ancient meals? Can we determine the role of meals for the ancient literary culture? Do we find evidence in Jewish and Christian sources for equivalent practices during their meals? Are there special values or conventions of ancient reading and interpretation practices during ancient meals, e.g., concerning the length, the function, the social participation?
2) Drinking and Intoxication in Ancient and Late Antique Meals (open call): We invite scholars to propose papers on any aspect of drinking, beverages and intoxication in the meals of the Hellenist and Roman or Late Antiquity. We look forward to perspectives from a variety of different communities. Were there specific beverages favored and why? Specific beverages rejected? And what does a focus on drinking reveal about the social relations within the group? These investigations can include arguments against intoxication as well as explorations of whether intoxication furthers access to the deity invoked or induces religious experiences, and how meals contribute to these questions. 3) Two New Handbooks: Meals and Ritual (co-sponsored, invited speakers only).
For your proposals: