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MANIPULATION AND PERCEPTION:
Forms and Ways of Persuasive Communication in the Ancient World

University of Cagliari

Deadline: 30 April 2019


The manipulation of communication often played a fundamental role in ancient culture. Indeed, great attention was paid to the modes in which written or oral texts could be used to persuade or appeal to the audience.

Starting from the opposition between objective reality and subjective reception, the theme of manipulation and communication is central to classical thought and permeates every field of ancient culture (rhetoric, philosophy, poetry, historiography, politics, and religion). Different means of expression (e. g., metre, figures of speech, syntax) are thus used to influence the audience’s opinion and judgements.

Hence, in current society, where the value of classical heritage is increasingly brought into question, Manipulation and Perception opens up several points of reflection regarding the techniques of manipulating communication and the eternal dilemma between appearance and reality.

Suggested fields and topics include but are not limited to:

1)  Manipulation of group dynamics and in interpersonal relationships (e.g. etairiai, fides, oaths);
2)  Manipulation in political and legislative fields (means of political persuasion and their perception by the citizens);
3)  Manipulation of texts through style and metrics to elicit reactions from the audience;
4)  Perception of reality in ancient philosophical thought (e.g. doxa, aisthesis, aletheia, eikos, verum, probabile, similia veri, ambitus);
5)  Manipulation of irrational beliefs;
6)  Manipulation of myths and historical events;
7)  Re-uses of classical texts in non-classical literatures;
8)  Use of ancient techniques of manipulation and persuasion in contemporary communication.

Postgraduates, PhD Students, and postdoc scholars (awarded in the last three years) are kindly requested to submit an abstract by e-mail to manipolazione.unica@gmail.com no later than 30th April 2019. Abstracts can be submitted in Italian or English. More information is available here (in English) and here (in Italian).

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