What is the sublime? Influentially theorised by Burke and Kant in the 18th century, the concept has recently attracted postmodern and Lacanian analysis from philosophers such as Derrida, Lyotard and Zizek. An aesthetic once exploited by Coleridge, Turner and the Romantics, the sublime today finds a home in the paintings of Barnett Newman and the films of David Lynch. The sublime’s classical roots, however, have been largely neglected and this conference aims to redress the balance, with discussion focusing on classical theorisations of the sublime (most notably Ps.-Longinus’s seminal treatise Peri Hypsous), on representations of the sublime in classical literature, and on the influence of these classical formulations on later understandings of the sublime. By establishing a cultural frame for the sublime different to those usually adopted, the conference aims to suggest new ways of understanding the concept. Conversely, consideration of ancient texts in terms of the long tradition of literature on and of the sublime will hopefully prompt fresh perspectives on these texts, their particular aesthetic modes, and these modes’ wider cultural implications.
Read the rest of the conference description here: http://www.classics.cam.ac.uk/news/events/pg/view==month/date==01-03-2008/article==91.