The Neo-Latin Society (Die Neulateinische Gesellschaft, DNG) organise un colloque intitulé “Dimensions and Aspects of Latin Literature of the Baroque Period”, qui se tiendra du 10 au 12 février 2020 à Bonn.
The Baroque is the last great epoch of Latin literature. It is also the epoch in which the entire early modern literature of Europe is finally characterized by bilingualism. The use and recognition of the vernacular or national language as a literary language had been postulated programmatically in Italy as early as the 14th century, and in France in the 16th century, and these demands were also successively implemented in practice, but such demands did not become established in the Dutch-German language area until the beginning of the 17th century (Daniel Heinsius 1616, Martin Opitz 1617) and laid the foundation for conceptually bilingual works there as well. In the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, the beginning of substantial competition between vernacular and Latin literature dates even later, i.e. in the later part of the 17th century.
The formation of territorial or national identity through a mother-tongue literature was thus contrasted with a pan-European Latin literature. However, these two constitutive poles of the literary culture of the Baroque period did not form opposites, but rather there were manifold interrelations between them, in the same way as between the vernacular/national language literatures themselves. Against the background of these Europe-wide interdependencies, it can be assumed that Latin literature of the Baroque, in addition to its still fundamental references to antiquity, had a special dynamic of experimentation with forms showing a creative development, going beyond the boundaries of Latin and its formal traditions. The focus of the planned conference will therefore be on relevant genres of Latin literature or individual texts or
works as their exempla. For example, it could be asked whether the fact that treatises on the theory of satire were presented at the beginning of the 17th century (Isaac Casaubon 1605, Daniel Heinsius 1612) was reflected in the production of satires in the 17th century; whether the numerous anthologies of Latin poetry of the 15th and 16th centuries, published in the second half of the 16th century and at the beginning of the 17th century, led to a shift of references from ancient to early modern authors and thus to changes in the poetry of the 17th century; whether or how vernacular patterns such as Petrarchism, singable poetry, and the like set changes in motion; whether and how epoch-making events, such as the Thirty Years’ War, influenced literature.
This leads to the question, not yet nearly discussed, whether distinct characteristics can be identified in the Latin literature of the 17th century that can be combined to form an epoch signature, and whether these can be called baroque analogously to the native literatures, resp. to what extent the same or similar characteristics as in other literatures and arts can be detected (e.g. confessionalism, mannerism, Ciceronianism, archaism, Lipsianism/Tacitism, conceptism/Argutia, importance of rhetoric, vanitas motifs). Complementary to this, it would then be necessary to discuss which chronological boundaries may be established in Latin literature for the Baroque period, since these boundaries are set quite differently depending on the language and literary area, insofar as the term Baroque is used at all.
The amount of preserved texts of Latin Baroque literature appears to be almost unmanageable, the state of research is disparate and mostly does not go beyond first approaches. There are selective and spotlight studies on individual authors and genres, but as a epoch of Latin literature of ist own right, the Baroque has not yet been studied. Nevertheless, the aim of a network on Baroque Latinity, which has its center at University College London, and which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is scheduled to run from May 2019 to March 2022, is to provide an initial approach to the Latin language of the period. The planned conference is also intended as such a first step towards a more intensive study of the 17th century as a specific epoch of early modern Latin literature. The results of the conference are to be summarized and published in an anthology with the working title Studies of the Latin Literature of the Baroque Period.
The conference is organized by the DNG in cooperation with the Department of Greek and Latin Philology of the University of Bonn. For presentations of about 25 minutes, proposals for topics, especially on a genre, but also on an author as representative or a text as exemplum of a genre or the determination of baroque characteristics in individual texts, etc. (concerning the whole European area) – preferably as email attachment – are kindly requested until 31 March, 2021 to:
PD Dr. Beate Hintzen
University of Bonn
Department of Greek and Latin Philology
Am Hof 1 e, 53113 Bonn
The topic formulation should be accompanied by a short synopsis (100-150 words).