10 Jan 2017 All day Lightfoot Room, Old Divinity School, St John's College


Convenors: Dr Theodor Dunkelgrün and Mr Scott Mandelbrote

Recent years have seen a resurgence of scholarship on philology from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary angles. Some scholars have reflected on philology as an ideal of textual, humanistic erudition, a privileged form of knowing. Others have studied the histories of particular scholarly practices and methods. Some have written intellectual biographies of prominent philologists, or have edited their correspondence. Yet others have paid close attention to different national traditions of philology and their histories, particularly in Germany. Among recent publications, we think in particular of: Sheldon Pollock, Benjamin A. Elman, Ku-ming Kevin Chang (eds.), World Philology (2015) James Turner, Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities (2014) Jürgen Leonhardt, Latin: Story of a World Language (2013) Denis Thouard, Friedrich Vollhardt, and Fosca Mariani Zini (eds.), Philologie als Wissensmodell (2010) Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht, The Powers of Philology: dynamics of textual scholarship (2003), Sean Gurd (ed.), Philology and its Histories (2010), Grafton and Most (eds.), Canonical Texts and Scholarly Practices: A Global Comparative Approach (2016) and Stefanie Stockhorst, Marcel Lepper, Vinzenz Hoppe (eds.), Symphilologie: Formen der Kooperation in den Geisteswissenschaften (2016).

In the course of our CRASSH-ERC research project, The Bible and Antiquity in 19th-century Culture we have  been concerned with the history of philology as well, and in particular, with the interpretation and understanding of the Judaeo-Christian biblical tradition and its texts and of Latin and Greek classical texts; and in the interaction of methods, arguments and understandings applied across those two fields of intellectual activity in the long nineteenth century.

This one-day workshop, based around four papers by practicioners and historians of philological scholarship, responses to each of them and ample time for conversation, aims to reflect on 19th-century traditions (national, linguistic) and practices of philology. We are especially interested in comparative approaches to classical, biblical, medieval and modern philologies and in explorations of why it might be that practices and ideals of philology are demanding the renewed attention of scholars across a wide range of humanistic disciplines.

Professor Jürgen Leonhardt, Philologisches Seminar, University of Tübingen
Dr Simon Mills, History, University of Kent
Dr Dirk van Miert, Research Institute for History and Art History, Utrecht University
Dr Christopher Stray, Institute of Classical Studies, London/ Swansea University

Mr Scott Mandelbrote, Peterhouse and History, Cambridge
Dr Aaron Kachuck, Trinity College and Classics, Cambridge
Professor Simon Goldhill, CRASSH, King's College and Classics, Cambridge
Dr Theodor Dunkelgrün, CRASSH and St John's College, Cambridge


This event is supported by funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC grant agreement no 295463.



9.30 - 10.00


10.00 - 11.15

Dr Dirk van Miert (Utrecht University)

Fichte and Philology

Respondent: Mr Scott Mandelbrote (University of Cambridge)

11.15 - 11.45


11.45 - 13.00

Dr Simon Mills (University of Kent)

Joseph White (1745-1814) and Arabic philology in the early 19th century

Respondent: Dr Theodor Dunkelgrün (University of Cambridge)

13.00 - 14.00


14.00 - 15.15

Dr Christopher Stray (Institute of Classical Studies, London/ Swansea University)

Philology and religion in 19th-century Oxford and Cambridge

Respondent: Professor Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge)

15.15 - 15.45


15.45 - 17.00

Professor Jürgen Leonhardt (University of Tübingen)

Philology in Context

Respondent: Dr Aaron Kachuk (University of Cambridge)

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