Plato & the Power of Images

Bryn Mawr College
Oct. 11 & 12, 2013

In conjunction with the Tri-College Working Group in Ancient Philosophy, Radcliffe Edmonds from Bryn Mawr College and Pierre Destrée of Université Catholique de Louvain are arranging a joint-conference, to be titled: “Plato and the Power of Images”, in order to focus on the way Plato both worries about and at the same time makes use of the power inherent in imagistic writing.  I would like to invite any interested scholars to attend this upcoming double colloquium, to be held at Bryn Mawr College on October 11 & 12, 2013, and at Louvain, Belgium, on February 6 & 7, 2014, in which scholars from the Tri-College consortium (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore), from the Universities of Louvain and Leuven in Belgium, and from elsewhere around the world will meet and discuss the issues involved with Plato and his handling of the power of images.

Plato is well known both for the harsh condemnations of images and image-making poets that appear in his dialogues and for the vivid and intense imagery that he himself uses in his matchless prose.  How then does Plato handle the power of images? The uses of imagery include allegories, metaphors, analogies, models, and even vivid writing styles that capture characters in dialogue – perhaps even ideas of images and image-making not directly connected with writing, since the question of why Plato uses vivid images in his writings is obviously connected with how he understands images and the way the mind handles them.

More than twenty scholars from nine different countries have already agreed to contribute to the conference, either at Bryn Mawr or at Louvain/Leuven.  These scholars range from distinguished experts in the field of Platonic studies to recent PhD’s bringing new insights and methodologies to this ancient and difficult issue, including:  Elizabeth Belfiore (University of Minnesota), Douglas Cairns (University of Edinburgh), Catherine Collobert (University of Ottawa), Pierre Destree (Université Catholique de Louvain), Louis-Andre Dorion (Université de Montreal), Radcliffe Edmonds (Bryn Mawr College), Franco Ferrari (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Andrew Ford (Princeton University), Francisco Gonzalez (Skidmore College), Elsa Grasso (Université de Nice), Richard Hunter (Trinity College, Cambridge), Grace Ledbetter (Swarthmore College), Alex Long (University of St Andrews), Irmgard Männlein-Robert (Universität Tübingen), Susan Sauvé Meyer (University of Pennsylvania), Christopher Moore (Pennsylvania State University), Kathryn Morgan (UCLA), Penelope Murray (University of Warwick), Noburu Notomi (Keio University), Zacharoula Petraki (University of Crete), Olivier Renaut (Université Paris Ouest – Nanterre-La Défense), Gerd Van Riel (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), and David Wolfsdorf (Temple University)

More information about the conference, including a schedule of papers and details of the conference locations, will be announced later this summer.  For more information, contact Radcliffe Edmonds.