Monday, January 12, 2009
4:00 PM
3222 Angell Hall

From Reactionary to French Resistance Classicism: The Action Francaise, The 'Wagner Program,' and Vichy's Ideological Compromise.

University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance

with a response by Michèle Hannoosh, Chair
Romance Languages & Literatures, University of Michigan

In the late summer of 1944, as the army of liberation moved implacably indeed arduously toward Paris, intellectual resistance journals were importuning French solidarity, deftly negotiating still hostile factions and divisive symbols.  Significantly, they sought to do so not through the conventional political vector of ideology, or the mediation of French republican and nationalist rhetoric, but through a compelling aesthetic discourse uniquely able here to enunciate uninterrupted, if reconfigured, French cultural values.  Not surprising for those familiar with French history or nationalist leagues, it was a discourse on French classicism construed as synonymous with France herself, but in a potent new amalgam, the political and cultural agency of which, as the war concluded, shall be the subject of this lecture.


Thursday, April 2, 2009
4:00 PM
4000 Thayer Building

This Way to the Egress: The Modern Exit Back Toward Tragedy

Disappointed at patrons loitering too long in his "American Museum," circus king P.T. Barnum posted signs reading "This Way to the Egress." Deceived by the fancy word for "exit," Barnum's patrons would chase the egress until they found themselves outside the museum and in line for another ticket back inside.

Modern theories and philosophies of tragedy have stalked a similar egress, routing an escape that leads back to an equally beguiling ingress. The evasion of the tragic somehow conveys its theorists back into the fold of tragedy, inspiring reformulations, adaptations and renewed retreats.
How do we return to tragedy despite our flights and fights? This panel discussion considers how various theorists and artists have, in late modernity, reconsidered and extended concepts of tragedy and the tragic. How can we construe a philosophy beyond tragedy without recourse to an indelibly tragic structure? How are artists across geographic and generic borders reimagining and thus reconceptualizing the tragic? "

Michael Kicey, Comparative Literature
Jonah Johnson, Germanic Languages & Comparative Literature
Chris Love, Comparative Literature
Vassilis Lambropoulos, Classical Studies & Comparative Literature


Thursday, March 5, 2009
4:00 PM
2175 Angell Hall

Translating Classics in the Modern World: a Democratic Turn?

Lorna Hardwick
Professor, Open University

This lecture considers how ancient drama and poetry has been translated and adapted into new works, with examples that show the variety of people and practices that are involved worldwide, from Africa to Europe, the Middle–East, the Caribbean and the Americas.  However it is not enough to appreciate how each generation and culture inscribes new layers of meaning into Greek and Latin texts. It is also necessary to consider how the ancient themes and forms shape modern meaning, making the notion of modern ‘democratic’ appropriation of classical texts a contested issue.

Lorna Hardwick teaches at the Open University, Milton Keynes (UK), where she is a Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Reception of Classical Texts Research Project. She is the author of many articles and books on Greek cultural history and its reception in modern theatre and literature, including Translating Words, Translating Cultures (2000) and New Surveys in the Classics: Reception Studies (2003).

Lorna Hardwick Poster

Monday, December 7, 2009
3:00 PM
3222 Angell Hall, English Department

Dancing Maenads in early twentieth-century Britain
Lecture by Fiona Macintosh


Dancing Maenads in Britain before the First World War regularly courted controversy as they were deemed to dance  waywardly and occasionally wantonly straight off Greek vases into the shadowy world of London's burgeoning cosmopolitan heartland. This paper explores both those Edwardian Maenads and the work of post-war practitioners of Greek dance, who sought to ‘clean up' and tame the mad Maenads allowing them a place in the education of women well into the 1950s.

Dr Fiona Macintosh is Director (elect) of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, Reader in the Reception of Greek and Roman Literature and Fellow of St Hilda's College, University of Oxford. She is author of Dying Acts: Death in Ancient Greek and Modern Irish Tragic Drama (Cork University Press 1994, St Martin's Press, New York 1995), Greek Tragedy and the British Theatre 1660-1914 (co-authored with Edith Hall) (Oxford University Press 2005) and Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus (Cambridge University Press 2009).

Thursday, October 1, 2009
4:00 pm
Comparative Literature Library, 2015 Tisch

Marco Formisano,
Humboldt University, Berlin

The Author, the Soldier, and the Scholar:
Strategies of Authorization in the Ancient Art of War

Although war itself is a matter of soldiers and weapons, things are different when one talks and writes about war. This lecture explores the strong connection between arms and letters established in ancient treatises on war, focusing on a characteristic triangulation. In the Western tradition, the dialectic of author, soldier and scholar fundamentally shapes the development of the literary genre of the art of war.

Marco Formisano is affiliated with the German Research Cooperative Center "Transformations of Antiquity."  His visit is sponsored by Contexts for Classics at the University of Michigan.

Monday, November 23, 2009
4:00 pm
2175 Classics Library, 2nd Floor Angell Hall

Fragments of Greek Desire
a lecture by Dr. Tim Whitmarsh,
(Classics, Oxford University)

Scholar of Medieval English, translator, and poet George Economou has worked for a decade constructing the poems and fragments of Ananios of Kleitor and their reception from antiquity to the present.

With the book published earlier this year, Economou is donating the unique record of his labor to a place the Arcadian writer Ananios (born the year of Socrates' execution) would have liked, had he existed – the Papyrus Collection of the University of Michigan.

Join us as we celebrate the canonization of another classical fiction.

Comments by George Economou, 
(Emeritus English, University of Oklahoma)

Introductions by: 
Vassilis Lambropoulos (Classical Studies and Comparative Literature, U-M)
Traianos Gagos (Classical Studies and Papyrology, U-M)
Yopie Prins (English and Comparative Literature, U-M)

Organized by The Department of Classical Studies, Modern Greek Program | Co-sponsored by the Papyrus Collection and Contexts for Classics

Marco Flyer
The Last Greek Poet Poster
Dancing Maenads Poster
Dancing MaenadsPoster.jpg