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Ancient Ideas in the Modern World: Reinventing the Legacy of Greece

Faculty of Classics (room 1.11), University of Cambridge, Friday 8th July 2011 

This postgraduate conference aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for those working on the reception of classical Greek thought, specifically vis-à-vis the conceptual life of the polis in modern theory and practice. Why does Greek political thought continue to fascinate western political theorists from wildly divergent ideological traditions? Why have the ideas behind the Athenian paideia and Spartan agoge had so strong an influence across so many different societies? How significantly have our own perceptions of the ancient world been coloured by the interpretations of 19th century Classicists? Why are classical foundations so important in the work of modern and post-modern writers and thinkers? 

We would like to thank the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, for its generous support for this conference.


11am    Coffee/registration (Classics Faculty room 1.10)

11.15   Welcome: Professor Paul Cartledge, AG Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge

11.30am-1pm Panel 1: Germany between ancient and modern

Chair: Carol Atack

Charles Clavey (Cambridge, PTIH): The young Nietzsche and Altertumswissenschaft

Adam Lecznar (UCL, Greek and Latin): Prometheus and the Slaves: Nietzsche’s Reception of the Ancient Greek State

Helen Roche (Cambridge, Classics): National-Socialist Educators and the Greek Ideal

1-2pm  Lunch (Classics Faculty room 1.10)

2-3.30pm         Panel 2: Greece in the Anglophone world   

Chair: Helen Roche

Callum Barrell (Cambridge, PTIH): Classical Athens and the mid-Victorian Political Imagination

Kazutaka Inamura (Cambridge, Classics): A Theory of the Mixed Constitution in JS Mill on Representative Government

Sofia Alagkiozidou (RHUL, Classics/Philosophy): Ezra Pound’s Women of Trachis

3.30-4pm         Tea

4-5.30pm         Panel 3: Thought and imagination

Chair: Professor Paul Cartledge

Luke Richardson (UCL, Greek and Latin/French): Rethinking the Meridian: The Reception of Greek Thought in Albert Camus’ L’Homme révolté

Ben Temblett (UCL, Greek and Latin): Imagining the Same and the Similar: Deleuze and the metaphysics of Plato’s use of myth

Carol Atack (Cambridge, Classics): Radicalising the Classical Imaginary: Cornelius Castoriadis and the École de Paris

5.30-6.30pm Closing informal discussion over drinks

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