"The Rape of Euterpe: Music, Philology, and Misology in the Work of Nietzsche"

December 7, 2007
2-4 pm
3222 Angell Hall

John Hamilton | Professor of Comparative Literature and German at New York University

John Hamilton taught Comparative Literature and German at Harvard University from 2001-2007, with visiting professorships in Classics at the University of California-Santa Cruz and at Bristol University's Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition. In 2005-06 he was a resident fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Since 1995, he has been involved with the Leibniz-Kreis, a working group originally based in Heidelberg, which is devoted to the "Afterlife of Antiquity." His books include Soliciting Darkness: Pindar, Obscurity and the Classical Tradition (Harvard University Press, 2003) and Music, Madness and the Unworking of Language (forthcoming: Columbia University Press, 2007). He is currently co-editing a volume of essays entitled Radical Philology, which will be published by Oxford University Press. Upcoming projects include a book-length study entitled The Fulgurant Eye: On the Concept of Security and the Moment. He has published numerous articles on Pindar, Sophocles, Lessing, Hölderlin, Heine, Kafka, Ernst Bloch, Benjamin, Heinrich Böll, Valéry, Proust, and Pascal Quignard.

Contexts for Classics (CFC) is an interdepartmental faculty initiative founded in 2000 that aims to rethink the discipline(s) of Classical Studies from various critical, historical, and pedagogical perspectives. This talk is part of "Radical Hellenisms," a series of events that explore the place of ancient Greek history, literature, and philosophy in the formation and formulation of radical modern theory and aesthetics. CFC gratefully acknowledges co-sponsorship by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Classical Studies, and the Program in Modern Greek.

A manuscript of Nietzsche'sHymnus an die Freundschaft ("Hymn to Friendship").

Classics in 20th-century Spain: social, political and mass-media aspects

Monday, October 29, 2007
11:30 a.m. –  1:00 p.m.
3222 Angell Hall

Refreshments will be provided

A brownbag discussion with Jorge Bergua | Universidad de Málaga
(University of Michigan Visiting Scholar)

Join Contexts for Classics (CFC)  for a talk focusing on several aspects of the development of classical studies in 20th-century Spain: from political issues relating to Franco's regime and the formation of classical scholarship in Spanish universities during the 40's and 50's, to more recent issues concerning the new media and its impact on the broad social reception of the classical world: publishing houses, popular music, comics, the internet, etc.

Jorge Bergua, of the Universidad de Málaga in Spain, is a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan for the fall semester of 2007.  His work has focused on the classical tradition in Spain, especially during the Renaissance.  He has published translations of Plutarch, Lucian, and Sextus Empiricus.  His most recent book, Francisco de Enzinas: un humanista reformado en la Europa de Carlos V, was published in 2006.

Contexts for Classics (CFC) is an interdepartmental faculty initiative founded in 2000 that aims to rethink the disciplines of Classical Studies from various critical, historical, and pedagogical perspectives. 


A Roundtable Discussion

Thursday, February 1, 2007
4:00-6:00 pm
Hussey Room, Michigan League

Catherine Brown, Comparative Literature/Romance Languages and Literatures
Elaine Gazda, Art History
Alexander Potts, Art History
Helmut Puff, Germanic Languages and Literatures
James Boyd White, Law
Steven Whiting, Musicology

There are few innovations in modern philosophy, art, or political thought that do not refer themselves to ancient texts, predominantly Greek ones. Over the course of the last centuries, “Athens” has served as a shorthand for political reform, the power of the aesthetic, the opposition to doctrine, scientific curiosity, intellectual courage, self-knowledge and ideals of autonomy, or the freedom of thought. Radical engagement with ancient texts, however, is not just a matter of historical record-–when it comes to contemporary theoretical or aesthetic pursuits, we find artists, writers, and scholars invoking Greece’s political institutions, legal disputations, emancipatory struggles,
philosophical controversies, civic competitions, public arts, rhetorical skills,
polyphonic histories, and postcolonial experiments. To be sure, appropriations of Greece since the Renaissance have served diverse causes, including conservative, reactionary, and repressive ones. It is their radical force, however, that remains underappreciated, and in light of its rich and varied history it is curious that these "radical Hellenisms" have yet to be the subject of systematic study.

"Radical Hellenisms" inaugurates a series of events that will explore the place of ancient Greek history, literature, and philosophy in the formation and formulation of radical modern theory and aesthetics. This roundtable discussion between scholars drawn from across the humanistic disciplines will open up new areas of inquiry and dialogue in relation to the radical modern possibilities and actualities drawn from the cultural and intellectual heritage of ancient Greece.

The discussion will be followed by a reception. Light refreshments will be provided.

Contexts for Classics (CFC) is an interdepartmental faculty initiative that aims to rethink the discipline(s) of Classical Studies from various critical, historical, and pedagogical perspectives.


Lecture: Steps to Parnassus: George Seferis' Search for Delphi
4 pm Classics Library, 2175 Angell Hall

Contexts for Classics: Translation Workshop
4 pm Comparative Literature Library, 2015 Tisch Hall

Sponsored By: Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, The Department of Classical Studies, Modern Greek Program (Foundation for Modern Greek Studies), Contexts for Classics at the University of Michigan.

Lucretius and the Moderns: Enlightenment to Victorian (and beyond)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
4:00 p.m.
Angell Hall 2175

Stuart Gillespie | University of Glasgow

From the time of Lucretius' rediscovery in 1417 down to the nineteenth century he has always been a figure of controversial importance - in literary history, in the history of science, and in successive impulses to 'enlightenment'. The evangelical fervor of his iconoclastic materialism has spoken to repeated movements of 'modernity', while the grandeur of his
vision has inspired writers concerned to celebrate both humane and scientific representations of the world. The names of Lucretius' eighteenth-century admirers are synonymous with the phenomenon known as the European Enlightenment - Voltaire and Kant, d'Alembert and Rousseau - but the adversarial nature of his philosophical and poetic procedures makes for an unusually combative reception history, the balance tilting for the Victorians away from the liberating figure perceived by the previous era and towards the tragic one depicted by Tennyson and others. This account starts out from images constructed for Lucretius in some well-known and some lesser-known material of these periods.

STUART GILLESPIE is Reader in English Literature at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and has longstanding cross-disciplinary interests in Classics and English. As co-editor with Philip Hardie he has recently completed work on The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius (2007). He edits the journal Translation and Literature (Edinburgh University Press) and is general editor of The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, in five volumes, of which he has co-edited the eighteenth-century volume (2005). His other publications include The Poets on the Classics: An Anthology (1988), Shakespeare’s Books: A Dictionary of Shakespeare Sources (2001), and Shakespeare and Elizabethan Popular Culture (2006). He is currently compiling an anthology of Renaissance English translations and an edition of the six volumes of John Dryden’s Miscellany Poems.