Challenging the intuition of Western individualism that a sense of self entails a sense of containment within the boundaries of the body, this paper reveals the systematic dissolution of embodied emotional experiences into the natural world in Senecan texts. Such dissolution, Devereaux suggests, represents an authorial technique that serves to organize the memory of emotional experiences in accordance with Stoic principles and beliefs about the role of contemplating nature in forming a sense of self. Focusing especially on the notion of sumpatheia—the view that the whole of physical reality is an ordinary organism, with different parts connected such that an affection in one place leads to an affection in another—this paper will explore intercorporeality in the Stoic context, and the significance within that context of the boundaries between mind, body, and world being dissolved by memory traces that exist within and yet beyond the biological body.
The weekly Classics Colloquium provides an informal meeting for the College's lively community of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty who are interested in classical subjects. Each year, the series includes a number of distinguished speakers on a variety of literary, archaeological, and historical subjects.