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Durham Centre for Classical Reception

About the Centre

Durham, as a founding member of the Classical Reception Studies Network (CRSN), has, for many years, been one of the key centers for research in Classical Reception and the Classical Tradition.

The Centre was founded in 2007, as the Centre for the Study of the Classical Tradition, under the directorship of Ingo Gildenhard. The study of the legacies of the ancient world is a fundamentally interdisciplinary enterprise - and the Centre's aim has always been to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue, both within Durham, and beyond. The University is particularly fortunate to have a large research community, spanning many departments, with interests in classical reception, broadly defined. Thus Dr David Ashurst (English Studies) is one of the world's leading experts in the medieval reception of Alexander the Great. Professor David Cowling (Modern Languages and Cultures) has special expertise in one of the greatest printers of classical texts, Henri Estienne. Professor Richard Gameson (History) holds the recently established Chair in the History of the Book. Professor Richard Hingley (Archaeology) has written the 'biography' of Hadrian's Wall. And within the Department of Classics and Ancient History, interests in Classical Reception range from Professor Barbara Graziosi's work on Homer, to Dr Nora Goldschmidt's work on ancient fragments in the discourses of modernism.

“The 'Living Poets' project, co-ordinated by Professor Barbara Graziosi, received a major grant from the European Research Council”

Over the last few years, the Centre has co-ordinated a high profile and diverse range of events. There have been major international conferences, such as 'Classics in Translation', 'Metamorphosis: in Antiquity and Beyond', 'Two Thousand Years of Solitude: Exile after Ovid', 'Dante: The Author and his Image', 'Romosexuality', 'Classics in Extremis' and 'Monuments Made of Words,' each attracting some of the leading scholars of classical reception worldwide to Durham. Public lectures, smaller-scale workshops and research seminars take place on a regular basis.

The Centre is committed to fostering a vibrant research community in Classical Reception - and building on Durham's record of success in attractng external research funding in the field. The 'Living Poets' project, co-ordinated by Professor Barbara Graziosi, received a major grant from the European Research Council, to develop a new approach to classical poetry, based on how listeners and readers imagined the Greek and Roman poets.

Public engagement is an important part of the Centre's work - and members of the public have learned more about Durham's research in Classical Reception from recent exhibitions, broadcasts, and public events and debates - including a visit from the director Oliver Stone.