Classics Confidential | Lisa Maurice on Romans and Jews in Popular Culture

The official description:

In the second interview recorded in April at the Classical Association conference in Reading Dr Lisa Maurice of Bar Ilan University talks with CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni about her twin passions: children’s literature and the portrayal of Jews in films about antiquity.

In this vodcast she talks about the popularity of the classical world in children’s literature and its impact on how ancient Rome is perceived in the modern world. At this year’s CA there were two panels devoted to the subject, testifying to the vibrancy of research in this area. Lisa discusses how the portrayal of Romans in fiction for children and young adults has changed over time. In the 1950s the Romans were seen as the great civilizers, but more recently they have become the villains. In the second half of the interview Lisa talks about her work exploring what it means to be Jewish in ancient Rome with particular reference to two televisions series: Masada (1981) and Rome (2005-7). The shifting portrayal of Jewish and Roman identity on the small screen allows us to reflect on our own understanding of both ancient and modern and the on-going dialogue between the two.

Recreating Roman Pantomime

Just a week or so ago we mentioned the Practicing Pantomime Project  … the folks involved should maybe talk to this guy, or he should talk to them … from Pressconnects:

For his final project as a Binghamton University undergraduate, local theater wunderkind Santino DeAngelo has decided to re-create an art form that’s been lost for 2,000 years.

No examples of ancient Roman pantomime — a popular entertainment that incorporated music, dance and storytelling – have survived in written form to the modern day. Scholars debate the reasons for that: Some think it’s because the pantomimes were considered “low” entertainment, while others speculate that many aspects of the performances were constructed through on-the-spot directions to actors and singers that were not preserved.

“It was basically the equivalent of television,” DeAngelo said in a recent interview. “Plays were known by their writers, but these pantomimes were famous for the artists — people would go to see the performer.

“We know that several famous Roman playwrights wrote pantomimes but didn’t attach their names to them because it was considered ‘low art.’ People would go every night to see them, though.”

DeAngelo’s re-creation, “Narcissus,” pulls directly from his undergraduate studies, which include classical civilizations, mythology and performance. He believes this is the first attempt at ancient Roman pantomime in the United States (with the only other effort in England during the 1970s).

Along with a full choral score (which will be performed by community members and BU students), DeAngelo also composed solo parts for local singers Judy Giblin, Jana Kucera and Charlie Hyland. DeAngelo himself will perform all the roles using a variety of masks.

Austin Tooley, a graduate student in BU’s theater department, will direct the production, and it will be recorded at the BTV studios on campus with the hope of broadcast at a later date. (A limited number of audience seats are available.)

DeAngelo said he hopes to capture the flavor of what ancient Roman pantomime would have been to an audience of that era.

“The great thing about reconstructing it is you’re putting yourself in the position of the writer, so I find myself thinking, ‘OK, if this has to be done quickly’ — they didn’t have a lot of time to put these together — ‘then how do I cut corners?’ If I can tell my chorus to do this and this, I don’t have to write it down,” he said. “There are many questions that come up.”

Classics Confidential | Judith Hallett on Teaching Classical Reception

Here’s the official description:

Last week we posted an interview with Professor Judith Hallett from the University of Maryland about her work on American women scholars and the Classics. Here, in a second interview with Anastasia Bakogianni, Professor Hallett discusses how classical reception can be used to engage students. She talks about how it can be incorporated into the teaching of Latin and more generally its value as a teaching tool in today’s competitive higher education climate.

Classics Confidential: Paula James on Classical Symbols in Trade Union Banners

A bit of the intro:

Spring 2013 will see the publication of a ground-breaking book on The Art and Ideology of the Trade Union Emblem, 1850–1925, which is the product of a collaboration between art historian Dr Annie Ravenhill-Johnson and OU classicist Dr Paula James. For students of the ancient world, one of the most interesting elements of the book will be its treatment of how the banners incorporated elements from the classical artistic tradition, ranging from figures of gods and personifications to architectural motifs and Latin mottos.

In this interview filmed for Classics Confidential, Paula James tells Anastasia Bakogianni about how this collaborative project began and developed, and gives us a taste of the book’s content by introducing us to a banner made for the Dockers Union in the 1890s […]

The Afterlife of Ovid ~ Conference Videos!

Last weekend, the Warburg Institute and the Institute for Classical Studies hosted a conference called The Afterlife of Ovid and a number of videos from the meeting have made it to Youtube. I’m going to sort of intersperse an ‘edited program’ with the videos (not all talks are there … not sure if they will be coming later today or what):

Thursday 7 March 2013

10. 50 Welcome: John North (IClS)

11.00 Professor Frank Coulson (Ohio State University)
Bernardo Moretti: A Newly Discovered Humanist Commentator on Ovid’s Ibis

11.50 Dr Ingo Gildenhard (University of Cambridge)
Dante’s Ovidian Poetics

1.50 Professor Gesine Manuwald (University College London)
Letter-writing after Ovid: his impact on Neo-Latin verse epistles

2.40 Professor Hélène Casanova-Robin (Université Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV)
D’Ovide à Pontano : le mythe, une forma mentis? De l’inuentio mythologique à l’élaboration d’un idéal d’humanitas

4.00 Dr Fátima Díez-Platas (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela)
Et per omnia saecula imagine vivam: The imaged afterlife of Ovid in fifteenth and sixteenth century book illustrations

4.50 Dr Caroline Stark (Ohio Wesleyan University)
Reflections of Narcissus

Friday 8 March 2013

10.30 Professor John Miller (University of Virginia)
‘Ovid’s Janus and the Start of the Year in Renaissance Fasti Sacri.

11.20 Professor Philip Hardie (University of Cambridge)
Milton as Reader of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

12.10 Dr Victoria Moul (King’s College London)
The transformation of Ovid in Cowley’s herb garden: Books 1 and 2 of the Plantarum Libri Sex (1668).

2.00 Professor Maggie Kilgour (McGill University)
Translatio Studii, Translatio Ovidii

2.50 Professor Hérica Valladares (John Hopkins University)
The Io in Correggio: Ovid and the Metamorphosis of a Renaissance Painter

4.10 Professor Elizabeth McGrath (Warburg Institute)
Rubens and Ovid

Note in passing: this is a pretty good model for recording a conference or panel session although it might be useful if handouts were posted at the original conference website.