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Homer’s Robots and the First Interplanetary War: 13:15-13:45 Thursday 26th February

Homer’s Robots and the First Interplanetary War: the origins of Sci Fi

Malcolm Heath investigates the classical roots of Sci Fi in terms of genre definition and content. An analysis of Homer’s Hephaestus and Lucian’s flying ship and Moon Men will be accompanied by comparisons with modern science fiction writers including H. G. Wells.

Venue: Leeds City Museum

What did Leeds’ Classicists do in the Great War? 13:15-13:45 29th January 2015

Eleanor OKell reveals the role played by staff and students of Leeds University’s Classics Department during the Great War. From raising morale at home to gathering intelligence in the field, from fighting on foot to flying behind enemy lines, from training officers to dying saving others. Learn the fascinating stories of six individuals, three of whom are remembered on the Leeds University Brotherton War Memorial, and their contribution to the war effort.

Cancelled – “Monstrous Gay Garments” – 29th January 13:15-13:45 Leeds City Museum

It has been necessary to postpone this talk due to unforeseen circumstances.

We apologise for the short-notice and thank those who have taken an interest.

The substitute talk will be advertised shortly…

 

“Monstrous Gay Garments” – 29th January 13:15-13:45 Leeds City Museum

CMAdvert

Poster for originally scheduled talk – please note incorrect date! The talk will take place on Thursday 29th January 2015

This talk – postponed from earlier in the series – will be the first talk of 2015.

Cary MacMahon will present the biography of two late-antique textiles in Leeds City Museums. She will speak about the survival of fourth century AD (“Coptic”) textiles and the journeys that have brought them – in pieces – to British Museums. Hear about the role of the excavations of Flinders Petrie and the involvement of the Scottish dry-cleaning trade!

The focus of the talk will be to contextualise the survival of two specific fragments in the Leeds City Museums’ collection (one in the Ancient Worlds gallery and one at Temple Newsam) and suggest the location of other fragments of what might be the same garment.

Greek and Roman Worlds in Star Trek – 13:15-13:45 Thursday 30th October, Leeds City Museum

Poster with images from original Star Trek episodes featuring Greek and Roman worlds

My poster for Ben’s talk.

Ben Greet (PhD student, topic: Roman Eagles), considers how the universe of Star Trek depicts close encounters with the classical world, bringing it out of books (whether of history or mythology) and to life for a mass audience on the small screen.

Focusing on two episodes from season 2 (1970) of the original Star Trek (“Who Mourns for Adonais”, episode 2, and “Bread and Circuses”, episode 25) that introduce Greek gods and the Roman Empire respectively, Ben’s talk will explore their “authenticity” and significance from a number of different perspectives.

The success of these episodes with audiences and the attraction of the frontier of the classical is apparent from episodes from season 3, which add philosophical (“Is there in truth no beauty” and “Plato’s Stepchildren”) and epic literary (“Elaan of Troyas”) episodes to season 2’s mythological and historical encounters.

Protected: Talks on Classical Reception

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In the shadow of Samothrace: the New Trojan War 1915 – uploaded

My poster for Professor Lieu's public talk.

My poster for Professor Lieu’s public talk.

Classics Talks is delighted to announce a preview of the content of a soon-to-be-published book.  Professor Samuel N. C. Lieu (Inaugural Distinguished Professor of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Sydney,  Fellow of the Australian Academy (Humanities), currently Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge) kindly agreed to record his public lecture on Australians’ use of classics to understand events and experiences in WWI from the international conference Classics and Classicists in WWI.

The battle landscapes of Gallipoli and the Dardanelles campaign in WWI overlay those of ancient Troy, as memorialised in Homer’s Iliad. Prof. Lieu shows how soldiers reflected on those mythological resonances and how classical themes were absorbed into the memorials of ANZAC (Gallipoli) Day as a new Australian myth of foundation and identity.

Professor Lieu’s slides are not available due to copyright restrictions.

Bewitching? – now uploaded

My poster for Regine's talk.

My poster for Regine’s talk.

The last talk of the 22013-14 academic year was by Regine May, expert on the ancient Latin novel, who explored the influence of Apuleius’ witch Meroe by tracking down her reincarnations in English literature. Meroe was revealed as a reference point and quintessential “witch for all ages”, with adjustments to her characterisation revealing contemporary popular responses to witchcraft in different periods – including our own.

For Meroe from Apuleius to Witchfinder’s manuals, Tudor drama and C21st novels:

Slides for Meroe the Witch (pdf)

If you are interested in ancient novels, their plots and characters, you may wish to consider coming to “Choose Your Own Classical Adventure” in Leeds City Museum on Friday 3rd October where Regine will be appearing as the goddess Isis…

Bewitching? – 13:15-13:45, Thursday 25th September

My poster for Regine's talk.

My poster for Regine’s talk.

The last talk of the 22013-14 academic year will be by Regine May, expert on the ancient Latin novel. In today’s talk she will explore the appeal of Apuleius’ witch Meroe by tracking down her reincarnations in English literature.

If you are interested in ancient novels, their plots and characters, you may wish to consider coming to “Choose Your Own Classical Adventure” in Leeds City Museum on Friday 3rd October where Regine will be appearing as the goddess Isis…

Plato and Iris Murdoch – uploaded

 

Poster with images of Iris Murdoch, Plato and some of Iris' book jackets by Tom Phillips.

My poster for Owen’s talk, with images of some of Iris Murdoch’s book jackets by Tom Phillips.

This talk was given by Owen Hodkinson, expert in epistolary literature and the ancient novel and author of the forthcoming book Metafiction: The Origins of Self-Conscious Fiction in Classical Literature (Routledge 2015). Owen explored the cross-over between Iris Murdoch’s philosophical and fictional writings with particular attention to the influence of Plato in her extensive presentation of the inadequacy of the written word to capture and communicate truth. Owen’s work in the Iris Murdoch archive yielded some fascinating insights into her working process when engaging with Platonic texts.

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