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2005 Events

Simone Weil: Iliados interpres artificiosa

A discussion led by James P. Holoka
Professor, History/Foreign Languages and Bilingual Studies, Eastern Michigan University

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 | 3:00 p.m. | Tisch Hall 2018 (Comparative Literature)

James Holoka is a professor in the history and foreign language departments at Eastern Michigan University; he received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Michigan.  Since then, he has written on authors ranging from Homer to Catullus to Aldous Huxley.  His recent work includes a translation and commentary of Simone Weil’s essay “L'Iliade ou Le poème de la force,” published by Lang in 2003.

Homer's Iliad is the consensus choice as the West's greatest epic. Over twenty-seven centuries, it has been analyzed and neoanalyzed, disarranged and rearranged, stratified and unified, allegorized and satirized, torn by wolves and restored by lords. The bibliography of secondary literature now runs to over 300 items a year. This workshop will focus on one celebrated twentieth-century interpretation: Simone Weil's famous 1941 essay, The Iliad or the Poem of Force. It will examine her critical methods and weigh her distinctive judgments about Homer's epic. It will ask what predispositions shaped her view of the poem and why her idiosyncratic reading of it should command our attention.

September 25, 2005 | 10:00 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. | Angell Hall 3222

University of Michigan-University of Bristol symposium on Classical Reception and the Political.

Annual CFC End-of-the-Year Reception

April 27, 2005 | 4:00 p.m. | Kelsey Museum

Workshop on Interpreting the Bacchae for Performance

January 31, 2005 | 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

On Monday evening, members of the cast and crew of the Basement Arts acting troupe, who performed Euripides' Bacchae on February 10-12 in the Frieze Building, met with members of the Classics Department, English Department, and Residential College, to discuss questions and problems of interpretation of the play for performance. Ruth Scodel, Yopie Prins, Kate Mendeloff, and Mike Sampson along with Al Duncan and other members of the Bacchae troupe, considered issues like humor in the play, the presentation of Pentheus, metatheatricality, chorus, the concept of the god and the Dionysus/Pentheus 'ahh' moment. There was no formal presentations but rather discussion of these issues in a workshop format, with the aim of putting the resources of the Classics and English Departments at the service of the acting troupe.

Two events featuring the life and work of Eva Palmer-Sikelianos

Two events featuring the life and work of Eva Palmer-Sikelianos, writer, theorist, performer, director, composer, costume designer, and choreographer of Greek drama in the early 20th century.

January 21-22, 2005

Events were co-sponsored by the Program in Modern Greek, the Program in Comparative Literature, and the Gerald F. Else Fund in the Department of Classical Studies:

Friday, January 21, 2005, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in Angell Hall Auditorium C (435 S. State St.): A screening of film footage from the Delphic Festival of 1927, including scenes from the production of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound (directed and choreographed by Eva Palmer-Sikelianos). The film was followed by a lecture entitled"Placing the Delphi Prometheus: Theatre, Cinema, Culture" by Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol). Abstract: "The Delphic Festivals of 1927 and 1930, organised by the American director and choreographer Eva Palmer and the Greek poet Angelos Sikelianos, are a landmark in the twentieth-century reception of Greek tragedy. They had a vital role in legitimising the revival of Greek drama in archaeological sites around the Mediterranean, and exerted a seminal influence on the reinvention of Greek theatre as heritage, to be displayed for the benefit and education of modern audiences. The highlight of the first festival was a stage production of Aeschylus' Prometheus. The paper will focus attention on the film version of this production. It will be argued that the film is not simply a recording of the stage performance but an artistic product in its own right. Even though it is not the first film of Greek tragedy, as has sometimes been argued, it has an exciting history which testifies in a striking manner to the legacy of the Delphic Festivals." This event was free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 22, 2005, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in Angell Hall 3222: Workshop, "Eva Palmer Sikelianos: Past, Present, Future Directions". Bagels and coffee at 9:30 a.m. From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., featured panelists offered brief remarks (5-10 minutes), followed by open discussion:

1. Artemis Leontis (University of Michigan): Eva as expatriate/traveler and her place within Modern Greek Studies.
2. Eleni Sikelianos (Naropa and University of Denver): A reading from the family memoir about Eva.
3. Gayle Rubin (University of Michigan): Eva's years in Paris, Natalie Barney's circle.
4. Vassilis Lambropoulos (University of Michigan): Eva and the theory of tragedy.
5. Pantelis Michelakis (Bristol University): The Delphi Festival and other Greek drama festivals.
6. Gonda van Steen (University of Arizona): Stage performance at Delphi and modern performances of Greek drama.
7. Mary Hart (Getty Museum): Eva as costume and mask designer.
8. Ann Cooper Albright (Oberlin College): Perspectives of a dance historian and choreographer.
9. Yopie Prins (University of Michigan): The Bacchae directed by Eva at women's colleges.

From 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., a lunch buffet for all participants (panelists and audience), and from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., discussion and practical planning for future research, projects, and collaborations took place.

Tony Blair's Athenian Birthday

January 20, 2005 | 4:00 p.m
Henderson Room, Michigan League

A talk entitled "Tony Blair's Athenian Birthday", delivered by Sir Peter Stothard, who is the editor of the Times Literary Supplement. From 1992 to 2002, Stothard was the editor of The Times. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Thirty Days: An Inside Account of Tony Blair at War (2004). The event was co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the European Union Center, the Department of Classical Studies, and the Modern Greek Program.

Beyond Antiquity:

The Classical Ideal from Petrarch to Poliziano, Poussin, and Wren
Organized by James I. Porter

January 5, 2005 | 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Classics Library (Angell Hall 2175)

A one-day colloquium entitled "Beyond Antiquity: The Classical Ideal from Petrarch to Poliziano, Poussin, and Wren" organized by James I. Porter (University of Michigan) examining the idea of "the Classical" in the medieval and Renaissance periods. Guest speakers included James Clark (University of Bristol), who works on monastic orders in Britain and Classical learning; Christopher S. Celenza (History, Michigan State University), who works on Italian humanism; Richard Neer (Art History, University of Chicago), who is a Classical art historian whose specialty includes Poussin; and Lydia Soo (University of Michigan), who is an architect with special research interests in Roman architectural history. Moderators included U-M faculty Basil Dufallo (Classics), Elizabeth Sears (History of Art), and Karla Taylor (English and Medieval & Early Modern Studies). Co-sponsored by the History of Art Department, the program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Department of Classics, the Gerald F. Else Fund.