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12:15-12:45 Thursday 27th August – The Modern Prometheus

Eleanor OKell explores the meanings and resonances of the myth of Prometheus in the modern era, taking as her title the much-discussed subtitle of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein of 1818. The talk will focus on two aspects of Promethean myth – stealing fire from the gods and playing a role in the creation of mankind – and the way these are referenced in literary fiction, film/TV and comics in ways that have become increasingly linked with both scientific endeavour and the dangers of its unconsidered use. Examples include: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series, Ridley Scott’s film Prometheus and Chris Carter’s X-Files episode, and Alan Moore’s Promethea.

The talk will take place on the Ancient Worlds Gallery (top floor) of Leeds City Museum.

12:15-12:45 Thursday 30th July – Plato’s Man of Steel

Natalie Enright and Ben Greet discuss the ancient philosophical underpinning of Superman by examining the role of Plato’s thought in the recent film, “Man of Steel”.

Ancient Worlds Gallery,

Leeds City Museum

Cancelled: Classics and Game of Thrones 12:15-12:45 Thursday 25th June

With apologies, it has been necessary to cancel the following talk due to unforeseen circumstances. The next talk will be: 12:15-12:45 Thursday 30th July when Natalie Enright and Ben Greet will be talking about “Plato’s ‘Man of Steel'”.

Ancient Worlds Gallery of Leeds City Museum

Bev Back, expert on transgression and identity in post-Augustan epic poetry and classics in Sci Fi (see Bev’s Classics in Our Lunchtimes talk on Star Wars and Classics), turns her attention to the classical references and frameworks operative in Game of Thrones, the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s books.

Classics and Game of Thrones 12:15-12:45 Thursday 25th June

Ancient Worlds Gallery of Leeds City Museum

Bev Back, expert on transgression and identity in post-Augustan epic poetry and classics in Sci Fi (see Bev’s Classics in Our Lunchtimes talk on Star Wars and Classics), turns her attention to the classical references and frameworks operative in Game of Thrones, the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s books.

Classic(s), brands and adverts: 12:15-12:45 Thursday 28th May Leeds City Museum

This talk will take place at the new time of12:15-12:45 in the Ancient Worlds Gallery of Leeds City Museum.

Eleanor OKell will investigate the role of classical characters and imagery in establishing and advertising brands, using twentieth and twenty-first century examples. It is no surprise that the allure of the goddess Venus underpins the Gillette Venus range of products to “Bring out the goddess in you” but she has also contributed to the brand image of washing soap, Kellogg’s cereals, Matsuda sunglasses, John Paul Gaultier perfumes and the 2014 Athens paralympics! This talk considers why companies as diverse as Nike, Leonidas, Goodyear, Red Bull and 02 have been drawn to Classical mythological and historical characters, suggesting that their combination of familiarity and exoticism enables them to add value to brands, a value that includes a sense of longevity and gravitas.

The talk will feature a degree of interactivity to explore the associations of classical characters for modern audiences and their effect on brand image: prepare to be asked what you think when “X” is mentioned.

Some of Eleanor OKell’s work on classics, branding and advertising has been concerned with the tobacco industry (see the article on “The Anglo-American ‘Tobacco Wars’ and the use of classical imagery to establish a global company”, New Voices 2, 2007), but no tobacco products will be featured in this talk.

One Man One Vote? 13:15-13:45 Thursday 30th April 2015 Leeds City Museum

One Man One Vote? Elections in ancient Rome and today

13:15-13:45 Thursday 30th April 2015

With General Election fever currently gripping the UK, Penny Goodman takes a look at the political system in late Republican Rome. Who could stand for office, how did people vote, and what did candidates need to do to secure a win? The talk will explore the similarities and differences between ancient Roman and modern British elections, and ask what they reveal about the values and priorities of the two societies.

The talk will take place on the Leeds Story Gallery (First Floor of the Leeds City Museum)

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

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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.

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