Call for papers
Ovid Across Europe: Vernacular Translations of the Metamorphoses in the Middle Ages & Renaissance
University of Bristol, 28-29 September 2017
From the 12th-century onwards, Ovid’s Metamorphoses exerted an enduring influence on Western culture. The capacity of this poem to be constantly present in our world is due to its innate transformative ability. In the Middle Ages, the Metamorphoses was often read as a philosophical text in which to find advice on Christian morality and ethics. In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, it constituted the most important repertoire of myths, an encyclopaedic work plundered by writers, musicians, and painters. The Metamorphoses found a permanent place in Western culture not only because it could be easily reinterpreted, but also for its capacity to be successfully rewritten and translated into various languages. In the medieval and the early modern ages, the reception of Ovid’s major poem did not happen exclusively through the Latin text; translations in the vernaculars played a pivotal role, transmitting the Latin Metamorphoses to all the emerging European vernacular cultures.
This conference aims to bring together scholars working on medieval and early modern translations of the Metamorphoses in Europe in order to shed light on the various ways in which Ovid’s poem was re-purposed and received, as well as to trace connections between different literary traditions. When was the Metamorphoses first translated into European vernaculars? How many Ovids can we talk about? Were there interferences between translations in the different vernaculars? The vernacularization of transnational texts contributed to the shaping of national identities, and this colloquium, fostering an exchange between scholars working in any European linguistic area, aims to shed light on the process of national acquisition of Ovid’s Metamorphoses through translation. The objective of this conference is to chart the changing face and function of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the vernacular Europe of the Middle and Early Modern Ages.
Areas of research might include:
- Text, language, and style of the Metamorphoses’ vernacular translations;
- The physical structure and presentation of the translations (support material, script or type, size, layout and decorations, marginalia) and their relationship with the Latin editions;
- The handwritten tradition and the oral tradition of the vernacular Metamorphoses;
- From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, from manuscript to printed book: disruption, or continuity?
- Allegories and commentaries attached to Ovid’s poem and their influence on the Metamorphoses’ translations;
- Vernacular Metamorphoses and national cultures: the transformations of Ovid’s poem in the language and style of the receiving culture and the role of vernacularization for the consolidation of a cultural identity.
- The changing worlds of the vernacular Metamorphoses: evolution and re-purposing of this text from the court, to the school, the street, the Academy, and the printing shop.
Genevieve Lively, Bristol University, UK (George Sandy’s Translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses)
John Tholen, Utrecht University (Ovid in the Early Modern Netherlands)
Mattia Cavagna, UCL Belgium (Ovide Moralisé in the Middle Ages)
Elisa Guadagnini, CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), (The Italian Metamorphoses in the Middle Ages)
This conference is founded by BIRTHA (Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanity and Arts), Medium Aevum, and the SIS (Society for Italian Studies).
See also http://translatingovid.weebly.com/cfp.