Conference: Conceptions of Philology

Location: Notre Dame Conference Center (McKenna Hall)

St. Jerome Writing by Caravaggio

Internationally renowned scholars from Europe and the United States will discuss the history and future of Philology over two days. Among the participants are David E. Wellbery (University of Chicago), Suzanne L. Marchand (Louisiana State University), Ernst Osterkamp (Humboldt University Berlin) and the University of Notre Dame’s own James Turner (Emeritus in the Department of History). The organizers W. Martin Bloomer (Department of Classics and Ph.D. in Literature) and Carsten Dutt (Department of German & Russian) cordially invite you to take part in this exciting intellectual event.

For the program see

Philology is a subject of unique importance, especially for a Catholic university and the Catholic intellectual tradition. Certainly, philological methods stemming from pagan antiquity were refined in the crucible of Catholic thought and controversy. Furthermore, as a research institution devoted to ecumenical, intercultural, and interdisciplinary dialogue, Notre Dame is the fitting place for a comparative consideration of Europe’s rich history of philological inquiry and reflection. The position of philology as foundational for the liberal arts and in particular for the study of literature, philosophy, theology, and history merits investigation both for reasons of theory and methodology and because philology is in many respects the ancestor and ally of these disciplines. Whether philology is seen as a matrix, a tool, or rather a servant—all these roles (assigned and resisted throughout history) are worth being analyzed and understood. In addition to highlighting and explaining differences that arise from and define the history of philology, the conference will seek to delineate universals of philological thought and practice – a normative outcome vital for a truly comprehensive understanding of the subject.

This conference is made possible in part by the generous support from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, Henkels Lecture Series, Department of German & Russian Languages and Literatures, the Ph.D. in Literature Program, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, Nanovic Institute for European Studies.