Departmen​tal Colloquium 2017-18: “Counter-classical Histories: displacement, resistance, and critique.”

Departmental Colloquium 2017-18 photo.
September 11, 2018

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