Posts Tagged ‘Deep Classics’

Another key theme that had unmistakably emerged by the end of the first day of Deep Classics (see previous post) is the nature of the (our) desire for the past, and its possible consequences. As Adam Lecznar remarked early on, “aren’t we just here to talk about our feelings?” One implication of developing a Queer Classics is a greater emphasis on the personal response and a concern about how to communicate this – should we be moving away from traditional academic impersonal pseudo-omniscience in favour of polyvocality, or does that risk oppressing or erasing our personal voice? Why is so much of our engagement with antiquity a purely intellectual, or at least mental, experience, when we really want to fondle it? (more…)

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We’re now 25% of the way through Bristol’s Deep Classics conference (which I’m also erratically live-tweeting), and some key over-arching themes and questions are already becoming clear. One is of course focused on the cultural connotations and possible subliminal messages of the name itself: is this intentionally or unintentionally referencing Deep History, or the Watergate mole, or a 1970s porn film, or the Bee Gees? Another focuses on the nature of the project and its possible hidden agenda: is Deep Classics effectively Queer Classics, as Sebastian Matzner seemed to suggest in his paper this morning? Or is it Anti-Classics, as implied by Helen Morales in her passing discussion of the conference in a review in theĀ TLS earlier this year? Anti-Historicism, Post-Historicism or the New New Historicism?

A third theme, inevitably suggested by Deep Classics’ emphasis on the fragmentary nature of our knowledge of the classical past and “the very pose by which the human present turns its attention to the distant human past” (Shane Butler’s now much-quoted phrase), is that of its relation to Reception Studies – is this an alternative, or a development, or even a repudiation? (more…)

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