Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies Symposium, May 4-5 2017, Fabianinkatu 24 ground floor

You find the registration form of the symposium here.


Organisers: Josef Eskhult (University of Uppsala), Alexandra Grigorieva (HCAS), Maijastina Kahlos (University of Helsinki), Jan Stenger (University of Glasgow), William van Andringa (HCAS, University of Lille 3), Leonid Zhmud (Russian Academy of Sciences)

In the time of ‘Big Wheel’ reforms, increasing privatisation and indeed a full-blown crisis of education, our LEDH symposium offers to take stock of changing concepts of education by looking back at older models for the creation of an educated society, and analysing the roots of their longevity. More specifically, it shines a light on the Republic of Letters not only as a stricto sensu 17th century phenomenon, but also as a possible broader umbrella concept spanning a fifteen century-long period in which Latin, a transnational language shared across Europe, allowed intellectual elites in different countries to formulate their ideas and exchange them on an impressive scale. Whereas the neo-liberal university may see little use for ‘dead’ languages, the cultural heft, far-reaching history and sheer geographical spread of Latin have underpinned intellectual growth and exchange in the West for centuries.

Organised chronologically, LEDH symposium showcases 4 main research foci: 1. Late Antiquity (the first time when Latin became the language of education for non-Latin speakers), 2. Early Modern Universities, 3. Renaissance Libraries and the Republic of Letters, and 4. the final spread of Latin in the 18th-19th century North-East Europe. LEDH concludes with a glimpse of the future of Latin in new educational concepts and its growing and necessary inclusion in Digital Humanities projects (a round-table discussion).


Gregory Crane, editor-in-chief of Perseus digital library (Tufts University) and Alexander Humboldt professor of Digital Humanities (Leipzig University) is giving the first keynote address in the beginning of the Symposium and presides over the concluding round table. Charles Homer Haskins Professor, Classics and German and Romance Languages and Literatures (Johns Hopkins University) Christopher Celenza, author of the pioneering work The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians and Latin’s Legacy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) is giving the second keynote.