SAMLA Special Session: Transforming Text and Images in Ovid's Metamorphoses

full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Modern Language Association
contact email: 

This panel will discuss representations of vignettes from Ovid's Metamorphoses, focusing on illustrated editions, graphic literary representations, and other visuals. Ovid's epic naturally lent itself to visual representation, both affected by prior artwork and affecting subsequent art depicting Roman mythology. An ethically problematic poem, the Metamorphoses was received with anxiety, particularly for the dangerous lessons it could impart to vulnerable audiences, which resulted in adaptations that transformed image and text to guide readers' interpretations.

Papers that consider how art and literature respond to the tensions within the Metamorphoses and how texts from a particular time adopt or resist depictions from Ovid are welcome. We are especially interested in investigating the visual nature of representations; if the passages from this poem encourage new forms and adaptations, how these interact with contemporary debates about education, print, gender, and other political and social controversies reveal aspects of Ovid's reception, and will be the focus of our panel. We hope to take a literary and art historical approach to thinking about Ovidian materials, and how this correlates with contemporary issues, in an attempt to understand the concerns about reproducing this poem.

Please submit a 300 word abstract to mlearner@live.unc.edu by June 15th to Mary Learner, English department at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Katherine Calvin, Art History department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Also let us know of any A/V needs.