Our researchers are working together on 12 work packages led by eminent researchers in the field. An additional work package is devoted to discussing issues of theory.
Language is arguably the most powerful anchoring device. Anchoring mechanisms in communication often disclose shared values, ambitions or knowledge.
‘Classical Greece’ was initially a product of the fourth century, but a sense of uniqueness and difference (newness) can easily be traced even earlier, in the literature of post-Persian-war Athens. This WP is interested in the cognitive aspects of the construction of ‘Classical Greece’, and in the ways in which it was distinguished as a historical period through ‘lumping and splitting’. One area of interest is the shaping of Classical Greece in rhetorical prose of the fourth century. But this WP also studies the self-perception of uniqueness and difference in the ‘Classical Period’ itself. Areas of interest include cognitive aspects of ancient drama (for example, related to different forms in which characters deal with newness and crises as positive or negative models for the audience); the literary imagination of inventors and inventions; the anchors of the ‘new lyric’ of the fifth century; and religious innovations and their anchors.
In its interest in cognition and linguistics/rhetoric, it is related to WP 10; for religious innovation it is related to WP 11.
- How was classical Athens constructed (cognitively, linguistically, rhetorically) between 479 and 323, and how can ‘anchoring’ provide a new lens on this process?
- Is it possible to expand and strengthen the linguistic agenda of Anchoring Innovation on the basis of, and beyond, the concept of common ground?
The globalizing Hellenistic world lends itself par excellence for the study of cultures in contact and the processes that govern the results of such contacts. The concept of anchoring may be helpful in deepening our insight into these processes, which are relevant also in our modern world. Local societies are confronted with and deeply affected by new powers structures. Often these clashes result in a form of creative friction. There may be significant power differentials in different areas of mutual importance, which necessitates some form of cultural understanding and (the creation of) common ground (see WP 10). Globalization scholars typically study how local and global structures mutually respond to each other in a feedback loop. This WP focuses on three multi-cultural contexts in the Hellenistic world, in Egypt, Central & Western Asia and Greece (Roman colonization), and investigates how global diversity was embedded and with what kind of results. The Roman project anticipates the topic of WP 9, the chronological sequel of WP 8. Where WP 8 focusses on the historical contexts and its changes in their own right; the focus of WP 9 will be more specifically on cultural translation processes (as visible in objects, texts and ideas) that mediate these changes and are the result thereof.
How do local and global structures interact in anchoring change in contexts of culture contact? Specifically, this will be studied in three different areas:
-Ptolemaic (Hellenistic) Egypt: what is the relationship between temple culture and the Hellenistic rulers? How were Greek practices anchored in the Egyptian world? E.g. how did the arrival of Greek-speaking immigrants affect existing burial practices in Egypt? How was Greek urban culture anchored in Egyptian society? And what role does anchoring play in the monetization of Egypt?
-Central Asia: What kind of anchoring processes are visible in Central Asia and what does that tell us about the (global) network of which this region was part, by which it was affected, and to which it contributed?
-Western Asia & Greece: What are the anchoring processes for Roman colonies in Greece and Asia minor?
This WP primarily emphasizes the cultural rather than political aspects of culture contact through the agency of foreign objects, ideas, and people, focusing on translation and mediation processes. It looks forward to WP 10 because of a joint interest in literary anchoring. In WP 9 the focus is on culture contact within the context of emerging world power Rome. In the process of cultural translation, media may be replaced with other media, and the experiential modalities of similar phenomena may change. E.g., in the study of fragments of Roman literature, scholars have tended to attach great weight in their reconstructions to potential Greek models. This creates room for questions with wider ramifications for the concepts of anchors and anchoring themselves, and in that sense this WP builds on phase 1. The progressive step is that at this point anchoring across different genres will be studied, rather than within the same genre. We investigate whether it is necessary to finetune concepts in order to provide an adequate description of processes of intermediality. Are all translation processes a form of anchoring? And if so, what kind of anchoring?
When do such anchoring processes start? In Antiquity itself? Or mainly in the history of scholarship (see WP 12 for the PD working on this latter possibility)? What do these case studies reveal about the fluidity or ambiguity of anchors? Is experience in and of itself knowledge? Or is knowledge situated or embodied in experience (situated/embodied cognition).
The work of the anchoring innovation group of linguists (WP 1) and scholars of literature and the arts (WP 2) was crucial for creating common ground in the first phase of the whole anchoring innovation program, in two ways: first of all, by showing the relevance of the concept of ‘anchoring in the common ground’, i.e. in shared knowledge, in all communicative processes. And secondly, by turning ‘common ground’ into common ground for the whole team, as a crucial component of our joint conceptual tool kit.
This WP continues the work of WPs 1 and 2 and is the natural gathering ground for all our linguists. But at the same time it expands its purview to explore how the notion of cultural common ground (as opposed to personal common ground) can help explain different aspects of the coming-into-being of the Roman empire. The overarching issue for this WP, then, is precisely the role of cultural common ground as an anchor for self-understanding and identity-formation.
This WP turns its attention to imperial Rome, and studies the cultural common ground of empire in four contexts:
- (Literary) style as cultural common ground, asking how the perception of stylistic innovation is cognitively anchored. Two case studies will study imperial epic and historiography.
-the cultural common ground for developments in the language of emotion; we study this in connection with gender as a follow-up on the gender projects from WP4.
-the cultural common ground in which the development of new philosophical schools is anchored.
-the cultural common ground in which technological innovations are anchored.
-the cultural common ground used and created from Augustus onwards, as the basis of political empire.
This WP builds on WP4 , where anchoring was found a most effective tool in the study of religious change. There is a clear methodological link to WP 10 in that ‘cultural common ground’ will inevitably play a role, but its central research question is a distinct one, transcending the Greco-Roman context towards Judaic and Arabic traditions. Some form of collaboration with national research school Noster will be sought (e.g. common workshop).
It addresses the major question in late antique culture, the emergence of Christianity, and the place of Judaism and Islam in the context of the globalizing (still called ‘Greco-Roman’) world. Researchers will seek
This WP, which partly builds on the work of WP6, addresses the changing position of Greco-Roman antiquity in European culture during the last 100 years. Our time has been described as a ‘postclassical’ age (The Postclassicisms Collective, 2020), in the sense that this is a reception period in which Antiquity is no longer an obvious reference culture. Reference cultures typically provide other cultures with models, ideas or examples, and have been formed through public discourse over different generations. How do these relatively robust cultural formations relate to the rapid cultural change that is believed to be so endemic to the modern and contemporary world? The WP centers around questions of (de)valuation and renegotiation of antiquity as an anchor, and also studies processes of de-anchoring.
Key concepts: cultural encounters / inclusion-exclusion / reference-culture / repertoire (as that which is actively retrievable from the cultural archive)/(de)imperialization / de-anchoring.
Under the umbrella of the social and political use of Antiquity, this group has two major research interests:
-‘democratization’ & mediatization of antiquity: the inclusion of new social groups, new media, and other repertoires (globalization).
-politicization of the classical languages (in public spaces, education, social media).
How does the concept of anchoring help in the study of postclassicism? How is Classics still an anchor – and for whom? In what ways is it in need of (de-/re-)anchoring itself in view of developing value systems?