Philologia sacra et profana

September 18–19, 2017

A workshop funded by the Whitney Humanities Center and organized by Yii-Jan Lin, Yale Divinity School; Irene Peirano Garrison, Yale Classics; Kirk Wetters, Yale Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Philologia sacra et profana explores the dialogue between sacred and secular in the history of philology and the development of the idiom of “source”, “original” and “authentic” between and across the fields of sacred and secular textual criticism. The editorial process has been traditionally represented as a process of cultural and material decontamination in which the textual critic is heroically called to sort through textual disunity and corruption to salvage a unified original source. “New philology” has both challenged the supremacy of the traditional Western paradigm of the unified, original source, and called into question the applicability of Lachmann’s method to some textual traditions that are instead characterized by disunity, readerly collaboration and accretion.

For the program and more information about the conference, go here:

Image:Allegory of grammar; credit Walters Art Gallery 

Departmental Colloquium 2017-18:

“Counter-classical Histories: displacement, resistance, and critique.”

Through translation, adaptation, and other processes of mediation, Classics offers a sometimes unlikely cosmopolitan vernacular for phenomena as diverse as the plight of Syrian refugees in the Mediterranean (imagined through the Odyssey), for trans identities through the myth of Tiresias, and on all sides of the history of modern racism, where classical authors have been used in defense of slavery, to furnish arguments for abolition, to argue for the superiority of European cultures, and conversely to signal their craven moral excesses. Recent research on citation and misquotation of classical authors in US and British political debates offers a highly pertinent example of the contingent construction of the classical past in the public sphere, where the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome are subject to constant negotiation.

Each of the invited speakers is noted for their outspoken and reflective commentary on the complex histories of appropriation that have seen Classics mobilized in the service of imperialisms, nationalisms, and other invented traditions. In addition to presenting their current research, each scholar will also take part in a professional development workshop with graduate students and faculty, on the themes of counter-classical pedagogy and diversity in the Classics classroom. Invited speakers include Grant Parker, Patrice Rankine, Margaret Williamson, and Donna Zuckerberg. The organizers of the colloquium are Sarah Derbew (, Emily Greenwood ( and Noel Lenski ( Please contact them for more information. A full schedule is here:…

Image: Janiform vase; credit Musée du Louvre