(Writing Studies, University of Minnesota)
“Spaces of Oratorical Performance in Ancient Greece: Reconstruction, Interpretive Visualization, and Assessment”
Date: January 30, 2013
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: 1000 Lincoln Hall
This event is free and open to the public.
About this event:
This talk will present chief findings of a long-term collaborative, interdisciplinary study of the physical settings in which ancient Greeks practiced the art of rhetoric. These include a variety spaces and structures from the late-Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods (ca. 500-100 BCE) utilized throughout the Greek world as venues for the performance of formal oratory-- principally, buildings that housed meetings of city councils (bouleuteria), auditoria utilized for larger citizen assemblies, and various structures fitted for use as law courts. In addition to providing a much-needed synthesis of the archaeological, literary, and historical evidence for these spaces and structures, the study utilizes both traditional and emergent research methods to elucidate the ways in which the physical settings structured communicative (inter)action and group deliberation. 3D digital modeling and other forms of advanced visualization have been utilized to identify salient architectural-spatial and acoustical variables and to assess them in terms of the opportunities and challenges they presented to both speakers and audiences.
The talk will summarize the inventory of speaking sites considered in the study and the methods of analysis and interpretation utilized in it. It will then illustrate these methods by considering a few significant but neglected structures, and a single well-known, but enigmatic one -- the meeting place of the Athenian assembly called the Pnyx.