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2006 Events

Spectacle and Depravity: Gladiators, Idols, and the Technology of Reality

November 6, 2006 | 4:30pm | Angell Hall G127

A Public Lecture by Professor Dean Hammer. What do Roman gladiator spectacles, reality television, and contemporary politics have in common? In his talk, "Spectacle and Depravity: Gladiators, Idols, and the Technology of Reality," Dean Hammer will explore the implications of what he describes as the "technology of reality." The "technology of reality," which can be traced as far back as Roman times, seems to provide a nearly invisible means by which the lives of distant peoples and places can be transmitted to us. But the technology is not transparent; it makes us into consumers of reality by placing reality at our disposal. In this talk, Prof. Hammer will offer a reinterpretation of Roman spectacle and points to the dilemma that the technology of reality poses for contemporary politics. Dean Hammer is the John W. Wetzel Professor of Classics and Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College. He was formerly a junior fellow at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies. He is author of The Puritan Tradition and The Iliad as Politics: The Performance of Political Thought and is completing a book on Roman political thought entitled Roman Political Thought and the Return to the World. His articles have appeared in Political Theory, American Journal of Philology, Historia, Arethusa, Phoenix, The Classical Journal, Classical World, Theory, Culture and Society, and Philosophy Today, and are forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Greek Political Theory and The Blackwell Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 | 7pm | Vandenburg Room, Michigan League

A Reading by Ellen McLaughlin and Anne Carson. Ellen McLaughlin is an actor and playwright based in New York. She is well known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, and has worked on and off Broadway. Her plays have received numerous national and international productions, including Iphigenia and Other Daughters, The Trojan Women, Helen, The Persians, and Oedipus. She will read from her new book, The Greek Plays. Anne Carson is Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and English at the University of Michigan. Her books include Eros the Bittersweet, Autobiography of Red, The Beauty of the Husband, Translations of Sappho, and Decreation. She will read from her new book Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides.

Nineteenth-Century Imperialism and Classicism

A panel of the Nighteenth-Century Forum (NCF) conference entitled "Art and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America: A Transatlantic Exchange."

April 14, 2006 | 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. | 3222 Angell Hall

Nineteenth-Century Imperialism and Classicism features: Professor Yopie Prins, Moderator Joanna Patterson, University of Michigan - "Fred Holland Day's Photographic Classicism and the Task of Portraiture" Adam Mazel, New York University - "'A Savage Race': Hellenism and Imperialism in Tennyson's 'Ulysses'" Aishwarya Lakshmi, University of Chicago - "Land, Event, Empire: The Aestheticization of the Mutiny of 1857" Parama Sarkar, Michigan State University - "Mapping the World: The 'Picturesque' in Nineteenth-century British Women's Travelogues to India" NCF, an interdisciplinary group comprised of faculty and graduate students at the University of Michigan, is hosting a graduate student conference on the convergences between aesthetics and politics in the nineteenth century on Friday, April 14th. The conference will begin with the keynote lecture entitled "Early and Often: the Aesthetics of Victorian Politics" by Professor Elaine Hadley. A light breakfast will be served. Two panels featuring graduate student speakers from a variety of universities as well our own will precede the lunch break, and the last panel will follow in the late afternoon. The day will conclude with a roundtable on politics and pedagogy and an evening reception. Featured panelists will include Professor Sandra Gunning, Professor Lucy Hartley, Visiting Professor Elizabeth Miller, and graduate students, Ji-Hyae Park and Kelly Williams.

Socratic Personae - A Day of Talks on Socrates and the Socratic Legacy

April 7, 2006 | 1 pm to 7 pm | Mason Hall Room 2306

Conference organizer Prof. Sara Ahbel-Rappe writes: "We are living in the midst of a Socratic revival, both academic and broadly cultural. On the one hand, teaching by the Socratic method, Socratic counseling, and the trademark Socrates Cafes proliferate throughout the elementary schools and law schools, therapy offices, and cafes of North America. On the other hand, a flurry of scholarly works seek to discover the doctrinal commitments of the historical Socrates, the role of Socrates in Hellenistic philosophy, and the ideal of Socrates in such later thinkers as Montaigne, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. Who was Socrates that he should have spawned such diverse offspring? Rather than venture a single answer, the talks of Socratic Personae investigate and exemplify the various ways in which versions of this question can be answered. We are interested in studying the contexts in which Socrates himself lived and talked, and also the contexts in which he was studied and reinvented throughout history."

Schedule of Talks:
1:00 pm - James Porter: "Nietzsche and the Problem of Socrates"
1:50 pm - Glenn Most: "Socrates and Hegel"
2:50 pm - Henry Dyson: "Reading Plato on the Porch: Plato's Socrates and the Early Stoa"
3:40 pm - Harold Tarrant: "Eros in Socrates and Pseudo-Plato"
4:40 pm - Raphael Woolf: "Socratic Authority"

Postcolonial Classics:

The Uses of Rome in Discourses on Britain’s Indian Empire, lectuce by Rama Mantena (Library of Congress)

Derek Walcott's Postcolonial Philology, lecture by Cashman Kerr Prince (McMaster University).

March 27, 2006 | 4:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. | Angell Hall 3222

Mantena's paper will consider two broad uses of classical scholarship in British India: first, the significance of philological researches for the elaboration of empire in the late eighteenth century, and second, the writings of Charles E. Trevelyan and T. B. Macaulay who drew on the Roman model of empire as a way to argue for empire or a proper political relationship between India and Britain. The two uses diverged in their understanding of difference in the colonial context: whereas the former begins with linguistic and racial affinity, it is unable to resolve radical difference in the present; the latter’s premise is that Indians and Britons are very different, and they argue that an imperial framework would gradually eliminate difference and bring subject and ruler closer together towards a common goal. In effect, the use of imperial Rome as a model for empire was to resolve the political uncertainty that ensued after the conquest of the Indian subcontinent at the end of the eighteenth century. The second lecture, "Derek Walcott's Postcolonial Philology," will be delivered by Cashman Kerr Prince (McMaster University). Prince's paper will examine how Derek Walcott rewrites classical literature in his own poetry, critiquing the British imperial educational system while also embracing a vision of the classical past now enriched to encompass Caribbean and postcolonial realities. Walcott's book-length autobiography, Another Life, some shorter lyric poems, and Omeros will be discussed.

Classics at Michigan

A brownbag discussion

March 16, 2006 | 4:00 p.m. | Angell Hall 2175 (Classics Library)

Join past and present Classical Studies graduate students as they present the results of their research into the history of classics as a discipline at the University of Michigan. For more information, please contact us at cfc@umich.edu. Speakers and their topics will include:

Kate Bosher (Classical Studies): Classical drama has been performed at the University of Michigan for generations. Stashed in chaotic piles in the Bentley library and filed away in the cabinets of the University productions office in the League, programs and flyers, scrapbooks and letters tell a story of the modern performances of these ancient plays. How did these productions reflect the political ideology of their day? Can such modern interpretations help us better understand the plays themselves? What untapped sources remain from which we might glean more information about the productions of ancient plays at Michigan?

Chad Schroeder (Classical Studies): In 150 years, the study of classical antiquity at the University of Michigan has grown from a lone professor servicing the Greek and Latin needs of frontier students into the Department of Classical Studies, one of the premiere departments in the country. This lecture will focus on the first century of this development, discuss the trends in the study of antiquity as they emerged and shaped instruction here, and suggest how the department might look to its past for future needs.

Björn Anderson (Classical Art and Archaeology): This lecture will discuss the history of Classical Archaeology at UM: how it emerged, who the main agents were, and how it developed in the years between World War I and World War II. The larger development of the discipline during the period, and how Michigan fits into the trends, will be considered.

William Sanders
Scarborough

(1852-1926),
Atlanta University’s
First Student

Lecture by
Michele Valerie Ronnick
Associate Professor
Wayne State University

Department of Classics, Greek and Latin

Mon., January 16, 2006
4 p.m., Classical Studies Library
2175 Angell Hall

presented by The Dept. of Classical Studies & the Gerald F. Else Fund

January 12, 2006 | 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. | Angell Hall 3222

Organized by CFC, this interdisciplinary symposium brings together three scholars doing some of the most innovative research on the role of classical philosophy and literature in constituting our modernity. The guiding question for the symposium will be: what are the theoretical and political stakes of a variety of "classical postures" deployed in early modern writings? The symposium will focus on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a decisive moment in the early modern period when classical genres, themes, and ideas are refracted into their modern forms. For more information, please visit the symposium website. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English Language and Literature, the Program in Comparative Literature, the Department of Classical Studies, the Eighteenth-Century Studies Group, the Institute for the Humanities, the Center for European Studies, and the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

This interdisciplinary symposium organized by Contexts for Classics (CFC) brings together three scholars doing some of the most innovative research on the role of classical philosophy and literature in constituting our modernity. The guiding question for the symposium will be this: what are the theoretical and political stakes of a variety of "classical postures" deployed in early modern writings? The symposium will focus on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a decisive moment in the early modern period when classical genres, themes and ideas are refracted into their modern forms.

4 PM: HELEN DEUTSCH, UCLA - "BOLINGBROKE'S LAUGH: POPE, HORACE, AND THE RHETORIC OF EMBODIED EXEMPLARITY" Respondent: Tobin Siebers, University of Michigan

Ever since her groundbreaking book on Alexander Pope, Helen Deutsch has been at the forefront of the so-called "new eighteenth century," rewriting the history of neoclassicism through the lenses of feminism and disability studies. She continues this work in a forthcoming book on Samuel Johnson. Deutsch will be discussing her recent work on the roots of the Horatian epistle in Stoic and Epicurean philosophy, and the way that this genre, via Seneca, Montaigne, Bacon, Browne and others, takes on a new and uniquely embodied form in the 18th-century verse epistle.

5 PM: DANIEL GROSS, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA - "THE POLITICS OF PRIDE IN DAVID HUME AND DAVID SIMPLE" Respondent: Adela Pinch, University of Michigan

Daniel Gross is a scholar who is working at the intersection of philosophy, literary theory, rhetoric and the history of emotions. His forthcoming book, entitled The Secret History of Emotion: From Aristotle's Rhetoric/ to Modern Brain Science,/ traces the process by which emotion becomes biologized in the early modern period, and attempts to recuperate a lost social language of emotion through Aristotle’s /Rhetoric/. He will discuss material from this forthcoming book on the eclipse of the Aristotelian rhetoric of the passions in the early modern period, arguing that a revitalized Aristotelian rhetoric "can inform Judith Butler’s recent efforts to integrate politics and psychoanalysis."

6 PM: CHRISTIAN THORNE, WILLIAMS COLLEGE - "THE EPIC’S ATLANTIC AFTERLIFE" Respondent: Silke Weineck, University of Michigan

Christian Thorne is a dynamic scholar whose work moves easily between philosophy, genre theory, cultural studies and social history. His book manuscript under submission is a study of the politics of early modern skepticism, its Pyrrhonist roots, and its post-structuralist reincarnation. Thorne is now at work on a project examining the politics of the early modern epic, particularly its relationship to empire. The project – an ambitious Jamesonian attempt to argue for the renewed political relevance of this seemingly archaic genre – reaches all the way back to Virgil and Lucan, and forward to Walcott. Thorne will present a selection from this work in progress,on Milton’s anti-imperial anti-epic.

WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE SYMPOSIUM:

* Contexts for Classics * Department of English Language and Literature * Program in Comparative Literature * Department of Classical Studies * Eighteenth Century Study Group * Institute for the Humanities * Center for European Studies * Medieval and Early Modern Studies

CLASSICAL MODERNITIES

A symposium at the University of Michigan

4-7 PM

12 January 2006 3222 Angell Hall This interdisciplinary symposium organized by Contexts for Classics (CFC) brings together three scholars doing some of the most innovative research on the role of classical philosophy and literature in constituting our modernity. The guiding question for the symposium will be this: what are the theoretical and political stakes of a variety of "classical postures" deployed in early modern writings? The symposium will focus on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a decisive moment in the early modern period when classical genres, themes and ideas are refracted into their modern forms.

4 PM: HELEN DEUTSCH, UCLA - "BOLINGBROKE'S LAUGH: POPE, HORACE, AND THE RHETORIC OF EMBODIED EXEMPLARITY"

Respondent: Tobin Siebers, University of Michigan

Ever since her groundbreaking book on Alexander Pope, Helen Deutsch has been at the forefront of the so-called "new eighteenth century," rewriting the history of neoclassicism through the lenses of feminism and disability studies. She continues this work in a forthcoming book on Samuel Johnson. Deutsch will be discussing her recent work on the roots of the Horatian epistle in Stoic and Epicurean philosophy, and the way that this genre, via Seneca, Montaigne, Bacon, Browne and others, takes on a new and uniquely embodied form in the 18th-century verse epistle.

5 PM: DANIEL GROSS, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA - "THE POLITICS OF PRIDE IN DAVID HUME AND DAVID SIMPLE" Respondent: Adela Pinch, University of Michigan

Daniel Gross is a scholar who is working at the intersection of philosophy, literary theory, rhetoric and the history of emotions. His forthcoming book, entitled The Secret History of Emotion: From Aristotle's Rhetoric/ to Modern Brain Science,/ traces the process by which emotion becomes biologized in the early modern period, and attempts to recuperate a lost social language of emotion through Aristotle’s /Rhetoric/. He will discuss material from this forthcoming book on the eclipse of the Aristotelian rhetoric of the passions in the early modern period, arguing that a revitalized Aristotelian rhetoric "can inform Judith Butler’s recent efforts to integrate politics and psychoanalysis."

6 PM: CHRISTIAN THORNE, WILLIAMS COLLEGE - "THE EPIC’S ATLANTIC AFTERLIFE" Respondent: To be announced

Christian Thorne is a dynamic scholar whose work moves easily between philosophy, genre theory, cultural studies and social history. His book manuscript under submission is a study of the politics of early modern skepticism, its Pyrrhonist roots, and its post-structuralist reincarnation. Thorne is now at work on a project examining the politics of the early modern epic, particularly its relationship to empire. The project – an ambitious Jamesonian attempt to argue for the renewed political relevance of this seemingly archaic genre – reaches all the way back to Virgil and Lucan, and forward to Walcott. Thorne will present a selection from this work in progress, on Milton’s anti-imperial anti-epic.

WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE SYMPOSIUM:

Contexts for Classics Department of English Language and Literature Program in Comparative Literature Department of Classical Studies Eighteenth Century Study Group Institute for the Humanities Center for European Studies Medieval and Early Modern Studies