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Townsend Lecturer - Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 4:30pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, G64
232 East Ave, Central Campus

Greg Woolf (Director at the Institute of Classical Studies) will be the Townsend Visiting Professor in Fall 2018. Professor Woolf will deliver three Townsend Lectures on 'Classic Roman.'

The titles of the three lectures are:

Lecture 1: Oh Brave New Romes!
Wednesday 12th September 4.30 pm
G64 Goldwin Smith Hall

Lecture 2: Post-Classical
Friday 14th September 4.30 pm
G64 Goldwin Smith Hall

Lecture 3: Cultural Creativity in an Age of Empire
Monday 17th September 4.30 pm
165 McGraw Hall

This series of lectures will deals with one of the great puzzles of Roman cultural history, the question of how across a range of media an imperial style was fixed, in the decades around the turn of the millennia. It will deals with canonization, classicization, standardization and their complex relations with political changes, moving back and forth between material culture and literary and intellectual life.

The first lecture will examine cultural activity in the middle and late Republic, how it was organized, promulgated, dismissed….and replaced, again and again. Rome had no single cultural revolution but rather many. And then the canons were closed.

The second lecture will look at the nature of cultural creativity across first three centuries CE, under the shadow of the classicizing and canonizing projects of the recent past. It will offer an entangled narrative of changes in material, intellectual and political style.

The third lecture will consider the same phenomena from the perspective of the makers of culture. It will examine the interplay between the agency of craftsmen, poets, patrons and also of Roman artefacts and the Roman sensorium as a whole. It will consider the apparent stability of cultural norms and the difference between what was allowed to change, and what was not, and our narratives of lost coherence and fragmentation.

Together these lectures will outline a new map of cultural change in which political action is more of a consequence than a mover of innovation. They offer an alternative narrative to those that culturalize a political history of empire, whether that be in terms of revolutions, Augustanism or Golden Ages fading to silver.

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Linda Brown

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Greg Woolf

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Intitute of Classical Studies

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