2017 ‘Sweet Liberty’ and Literary tradition in Milton’s ‘L’Allegro’
Dr. Joshua Scodel, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, The University of Chicago
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 5 pm, Comparative Literature Library, Bingham Hall, Old Campus
Joshua Scodel is Helen A. Regenstein Professor at the University of Chicago. He has a BA from Princeton and PhD from Yale. He has published two acclaimed books, The English Poetic Epitaph and Excess and the Mean in Early Modern English Literature, as well as many articles on Donne, Jonson, English translations of classical and continental lyrics 1550-1660, Cavalier love poetry, Interregnum retirement literature, the Restoration Pindaric ode, the English lyric 1650-1740, seventeenth-century English literary criticism, and Dryden’s critical principles. He has recently co-edited a critical edition of Queen Elizabeth I’s translations, and is currently writing a book on the paradoxes of early modern English representations of liberty.
2016 No lecture.
2015 The authorial perversion: the desire for discourse in Ovid’s Amores
Dr. Ellen Oliensis, Professor of Classics, UC Berkeley
Thursday, March 26, 2015, 5 pm, Bingham Library, Bingham Hall, Old Campus
Ellen Oliensis is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley, where she moved in 1999 from a position at Yale as Associate Professor of Classics and the Humanities. She has a BA from Yale and PhD from Harvard. She is well known for her work on Horace, including the remarkable Horace and the Rhetoric of Authority (1998), and more recently on psychoanalysis and Roman poetry in Freud’s Rome (2009, in the Cambridge series, Roman Literature and its Contexts), among many other elegantly and economically written studies of Latin literature. She is currently working on a commentary on Metamorphoses 6 for the Cambridge Green and Yellow series, and on a monograph on Ovid’s Amores.
2014 Epic Annoyance, Homer to Palladas
Dr. Gordon Braden, Linden Kent Memorial Professor, University of Virginia
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5 pm, Bingham Library, Bingham Hall, Old Campus
Gordon Braden is Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His books include The Classics and English Renaissance Poetry (1978), Renaissance Tragedy and the Senecan Tradition (1985), The Idea of the Renaissance with William Kerrigan, (1989), Petrarchan Love and the Continental Renaissance (1999), Sixteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (2005), The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English: 1550-1660, with Robert Cummings and Stuart Gillespie, and Petrarch’s English Laurels, 1475–1700, with Jackson Campbell Boswell, (2012).
2013 The Ghost of Patroklos and the Language of Achilles
Joseph Russo, Audrey and John Dusseau Emeritus Professor of Humanities and Classics, Haverford College
Joseph Russo, who studied with Adam Parry at Yale, has spent a lifetime teaching and writing about the Homeric epics and oral traditions, including folklore, folktale, and Sicilian oral traditions. His work throughout his career has demonstrated the methods and talents that were once so beautifully exemplified by the Parrys: the thoughtful and detailed analysis of Greek and Latin texts that is, at once, adventurous, elegantly written, and critically informed.
Professor Russo’s lecture on ‘The Ghost of Patroklos and the Language of Achilles’ was a masterful example of this kind of scholarship, and a perfectly fitting inauguration of this series. Elaborating on Adam Parry’s landmark 1956 essay, ‘The Language of Achilles,’ Professor Russo described how Parry’s assertions about the inadequacy of heroic language to express non-heroic emotions were, despite making a dazzling first splash, subsequently dismissed as a kind of passé Whorfism. But he made a compelling case for the abiding genius of the essay that overrides its flaws, pointing out that Homeric language as an artificial product necessarily comes with Whorfian constraints, and yet the poet can manipulate these inadequacies to express subtle emotions obliquely but effectively.