This blog is going to go quiet for a couple of weeks as I’m off on holiday (and desperately trying to finish scribbling a paper on ‘History as Political Therapy’ for the American Political Science Association conference at the end of the month), but I thought I’d sign off with advance notice of a couple of events related to the Thucydides research project in Bristol in the autumn.
Might is Right? Ancient and Modern Debates
Sunday November 10th, Foyles Bookshop, Cabot Circus, 2pm.
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” So claimed an aide of George W. Bush in 2004, but it’s an idea that dates back to 5th century BC Greece and the historian Thucydides – one of the most-quoted ancient writers in debates about contemporary affairs, including on such topics as the invasion of Iraq and post-9/11 US foreign policy. This public event, part of the University of Bristol’s annual InsideArts week, draws on the work of the Bristol Thucydides project over the last four years: Studiospace, the UoB Student Drama Society, will be staging the Melian Dialogue, the famous passage in Thucydides’ work where he explores different approaches to justice and interest in inter-state relations, and this will be followed by a discussion between scholars working on different aspects of the topic (including Neville Morley and Ellen O’Gorman from Classics & Ancient History, and Torsten Michel from Politics; chaired by Josie McLellan from Historical Studies), and plenty of opportunity for questions from the audience.
Attendance is free, but we do ask you to reserve a place in advance; further details will appear on the project website (www.bris.ac.uk/classics/thucydides/events/) in due course.
Thucydides: Reception, Reinterpretation and Influence
Monday 25th-Tuesday 26th November, Clifton Hill House, Bristol
This final colloquium of the Bristol Thucydides project draws together different themes in the modern reception and influence of Thucydides, in different spheres of activity – history, politics, war and culture. It will probably have a different title at some point, and certainly a much better blurb, but obviously the main attraction is the line-up of speakers…
Geoffrey Hawthorn (Cambridge): Who does Thucydides please?
Aleka Lianeri (Thessaloniki): Time and Method: Thucydides’ contemporary history in nineteenth-century Britain
Christian Thauer (FU Berlin /U of Washington): Re-approaching Thucydides? An Intellectual History Perspective
Edith Foster (Ashland University): Narrating Battles: Thucydides and Ernst Jünger
Seth Jaffe (Toronto): The Straussian Thucydides
Andreas Stradis (Bristol): Thucydides and Vietnam: A Vehicle for Ethical Professional Military Education
Neville Morley (Bristol): The Idea of Thucydides in Western Culture
Ben Earley (Bristol): The Spirit of Athens: Thucydides as a theorist of maritime empire
Christian Wendt (FU Berlin): discussant
If you have any queries about either of these events, please contact me on n.d.g.morley(at)bris.ac.uk.