The authority in the title of this issue does not just refer to those authorities that dominate literary history. Rather, it refers to the ones that held sway over classrooms where education in Latin was the norm. Sometimes, these are the same ones we know from literary history. Sometimes, they are not, because changing norms and ideals have obscured their role. In this issue, three articles look at literature and authority from the vantage point of what was read in school.
Contributions to the Journal will treat topics that cross traditional chronological and linguistic boundaries. From the first century AD to roughly the eighteenth century, Latin remained the standard equipment of the European author and his/her reader and functioned as an undercurrent through European history. Through its constant interactions with other languages with cosmopolitan standing (Greek, Arabic and Hebrew) and with the rapidly changing literary production in the vernaculars, Latin strongly defined Europe’s literary identity.
The dialogical approach to European literary identity will be reflected in the journal’s format. Papers will be clustered in groups of three based on a common question, but they will discuss the question for different historical periods and/or literatures. For each group, an established researcher and specialist on the subject will reflect upon the papers in an additional contribution. This respondent looks for connections and differences and places the insights in a broader perspective. Hereby, we establish a dialogue between voices that find few platforms to communicate in traditional academic structures. The respondents moderate the ongoing debate and guarantee the journal’s place at the frontiers of research.
The journal is closely linked to the activities of the research group RELICS (Researchers of European Literary Identity, Cosmopolitanism and the Schools), which is developing a large international network of researchers interested in these themes. Take a look at relicsresearch.com to find out about our vision, members, and upcoming events.
Jeroen De Gussem
Maxim Rigaux (coordinator)
Dinah Wouters (coordinator)