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Durham Centre for Classical Reception

Durham Centre for Classical Reception

“World-leading research, postgraduate opportunities, conferences and public engagement events on the afterlives of ancient Greece and Rome. ”


The Centre for Classical Reception promotes the study of the afterlives of ancient Greece and Rome: from medieval romances to Renaissance architecture, nineteenth century art to modern cinema.

The Centre explores not just the depth and significance of classical influences on later cultures, but also the ways in which the ancient world continues to reshape the world of today. Members of the Centre are drawn from a wide range of departments, including Classics and Ancient History, Archaeology, English Studies, History, and Modern Languages and Cultures. Durham has one of the world's most vibrant research communities in Classical Reception - and members of the Centre are involved in teaching, supervision and research across the breadth of the field. Recent high profile public events have included broadcasts, exhibitions - and a visit from the director Oliver Stone.


Anglophone Translations of the Classics and The History of Sexuality

27th March 2015, 10:00 to 28th March 2015, 17:00, Department of Classics & Ancient History, 38, North Bailey, Durham, Confirmed speakers include: Josephine Balmer (translator of Catullus and Sappho), Lorna Hardwick (Open University), Gideon Nisbet (Birmingham University; translator of Martial), Daniel Orrells (Warwick University), Deborah Roberts (Haverford College).

An international, interdisciplinary workshop to be held at Durham University, 27-28 March 2015. Please download the booking form and send with payment by Thursday 26th February to Dr Jennifer Ingleheart, Department of Classics & Ancient History, 38 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3EU.

Classical antiquity has profoundly influenced modern concepts of sexuality: Greece provided a model of a society which accepted or lionized same-sex relations, whereas Rome was demonized as oversexed and polymorphously perverse. Classical literature is highly valorized; conversely, desire that does not conform to a heteronormative template has been subject to societal disapproval and legal sanctions. The prestige of classics ensured the translation of texts which spoke of taboo desires and practices: translation, as a privileged space for representations of non-normative sexuality, is thus a major route by which many people have accessed such texts from the eighteenth century onwards, be they sexologists trying to categorize and explain sexual behaviours or those with dissident sexual desires attempting to understand and legitimize their identities.

Taking a broad interpretation of what constitutes a 'translation', this workshop asks: who has translated such texts into English, in what ways, and with what influence on ideas of sexuality, from the eighteenth century onwards? Translation will be explored from multi-disciplinary perspectives, focusing on the interplay between translation practice and broader historical and cultural contexts, including the impact of the Wilde trials, the late nineteenth-centurymedicalisation of homosexuality, the AIDS crisis, and the removal of homosexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders by the World Health Organisation in 1992. The opportunity for interdisciplinary dialogue and innovative work on this previously neglected topic will make a significant contribution to understandings of how non-normative sexual identities have been understood, formed, and contested.

Download the full programme here.

Contact jennifer.ingleheart@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.