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Man, machine, animal and monster: the Post-human in ancient Greek literature? - 27-28/10/2016, Berli

This conference is about the post-human in Greek literature and focuses on the relation between man, animal, monster and machine. Post-humanism currently is one of the most popular philosophical trends. However, its applicability (i.e. its advantages and its limits) to ancient Greek literature has not yet been sufficiently examined. One panel is dedicated entirely to Greek tragedy: The tragic plays very prominently discuss the place of man in nature and society, and their concept of humanity has much to offer to challenge posthuman positions. In addition to the panel on tragedy, further panels are on Greek lyric and epic as well as on Greek historiography which also play a significant role within the Greek discourse on humanity, machines, monstrosity and savagery.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 27-28/10/2016

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Berlin, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Giulia Maria Chesi (Humbold University); Francesca Spiegel (Humbold University).

INFO: web - -


Es necesario contactar con las organizadoras /please contact the organizers/ si prega di contattare l'organizzatore / Giulia Maria Chesi ( and Francesca Spiegel (

PROGRAMA/PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA: disponible también aquí /also available here /anche disponibile qui

Thursday, 27 October

9.00 Registration

9.20 – 9.30 Francesca Spiegel and Giulia Maria Chesi: Welcome speech / opening address

“Theory” panel. Chair: Marco Formisano (Ghent University)

9.30 – 9.50 Luciano Nuzzo (Università del Salento / Rio de Janeiro University): The challenge of Foucault and the rise of the monstrous

9.55 – 10.15 Virginia Burrus (Syracuse University): Hagiography without humans

10.15 – 10.45 Discussion

10.45 – 11.00 Break

“Lyric and Epic” Panel Chair: Lucia Prauscello (University of Cambridge); Alexander Kirichenko (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)

11.00 – 11.20 Marianne Hopman (Northwestern University):Monstrous refractions in Homer

11.25 – 11.45 Jenny Strauss Clay (University of Virginia): Typhoeus: Cosmic retrogression

11.45 – 11.55 Break

11.55 – 12.15 Thomas Poiss (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): Transcending boundaries. Anthropology and poetics in Pindar’s P. 12

12.20 – 12.40 Aaron Kachuck (University of Cambridge):Virgil’s Equus Graecus and the Monstrosity of a Literature in Latin

12.40 – 13.30 Discussion

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch

“Historiography” Panel Chair: Markus Asper (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

14.30 – 14.50 Dunstan Lowe (University of Kent): The tyranny of the body: Ancient autocracy versus the human form

14.55 – 15.15 Roland Baumgarten (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): The sovereign as beast. Images of ancient tyranny

15.15 – 15.30 Break

15.30 – 15.50 Werner Tietz (LMU München): Monstrosity in Thucydides: From Anecdote to mass phenomenon

15.55 – 16.15 Martin Devecka (University of California Santa Cruz): Organism, mechanism, magic: Some early Greek histories of technology

16.15 – 17.00 Discussion

19.30 Conference dinner

Friday, 28 October

“Greek Drama” Panel Chair: Renaud Gagne’ (University of Cambridge); Susanne Goedde (Freie Universität Berlin)

9.30 – 9.50 Chiara Thumiger (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): Animality and illness in Sophocles’ Philoctetes

9.55 – 10.15 Giovanni Ceschi (Liceo Classico Giovanni Prati di Trento): Διαβόρος νόσος: humans and demonic disease in Greek tragedy

10.20 – 10.40 Nancy Worman (Barnard College, Columbia University): Tragic “nudity”, necrophilia and the edges of the human in Euripides

10.40 – 11.00 Break

11.00 – 11.20 Robin Mitchell-Boyask (Temple University): Cyclopean Ajax

11.25 – 11.45 Manuela Giordano (Università della Calabria): Flocks and monsters from Homer to Aeschylus

11.50 – 12.10 Antonietta Provenza (Università di Palermo): Human transformations: Pursued by the harassing divine whip or Io the heifer-maiden

12.10 – 13.00 Discussion

Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge): Closing speech

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