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Celebrating Hercules in the Modern World - 07-08-09/07/2017, Leeds (England)


In June 2013 the conference Hercules: a Hero for All Ages laid the foundations for a large-scale project on the reception of the ancient Greek hero Herakles in post-classical culture. Work has been proceeding quietly on four volumes arising from the original conference, to be published in Brill’s series Metaforms: Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity. A grant from the AHRC’s Networking fund is now supporting, amongst other things, the development of a new website ( and a follow-on conference at Leeds in July 2017. Celebrating Hercules in the Modern World will reflect on the progress of the project so far, and work towards finalising the content of the volumes, due for publication in 2018-19: while the first two volumes are almost complete, there is scope for additional papers in all four, as detailed in the Call for Papers below. The conference will reunite a number of scholars from the 2013 conference, but also aims to bring new contributors on board: scholars from a wide range of disciplines are welcome – including history, art history, world literatures, drama, music, film and cultural studies – to share their expertise on the many contexts in which Hercules appears.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 07-08-09/07/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Leeds (Leeds, England)




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EDIT: Although booking for physical attendance has closed, it is still possible to register to hear the papers as podcasts online, together with handouts/PowerPoints after the conference (£50).

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Friday 7th July

12:00-13.30 Registration: Clothworkers Foyer

12:30-13:30Lunch: Clothworkers Foyer

13:30-13.45 Opening (Music LR1)

Emma Stafford + Matthew Treherne, Head of School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

13:45-15:15 Session 1: Inside and Outside the Church (Music LR1)

Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides (Monash University): Byzantine Herakles

Katrien Levrie (Research Foundation Flanders / University of Leuven): The Herakles Myth in Byzantine Literature

Ivana Čapeta Rakić (University of Split): The Constellation of Hercules and his struggle with the Nemean lion on two romanesque reliefs from Split Cathedral

15.15-15:45Tea/coffee and biscuits: Clothworkers Foyer

15.45-17:45Session 2: Political discourse (Music LR1)

Emily Mayne (St. Hilda’s, Oxford): Reforming the hero, Reforming the king: Henry VIII, “our Englyshe Hercules”

Alexandra Eppinger (University of Mainz): Hercules the Younger? Heroic allusions in late eighteenth century British political cartoons

Maria Xanthou (University of Leeds): Οἱ Ἡρακλεῖς τοῦ στέμματος (“The defenders of the crown”): the reception of Hercules in modern Greek political discourse and history

Tamar Cheishvili (Tblisi State University): Putin as Hercules

19:00-22:00Conference Dinner, Great Woodhouse Room University House

22:00-23:00 Bar: Leeds Students Union

Saturday 8th July

08:00-09.00 Breakfast (for residents): Refectory North

09.00-11.00 Session 3: Hercules Performed (Music LR1)

Lucia Degiovanni (University of Bergamo): Hercules’ Death and Apotheosis in C18th-19th Century Italian Literature

Deborah Chatr Aryamontri (Montclair State University): Hercules and the tragicomic in the epic theatre of Dürrenmatt

Owen Hodkinson (University of Leeds): Strategies of translation and transformation in Tony Harrison’s Labourers of Herakles

Sam Gartland (Christ Church and Corpus Christi, Oxford): Herakles in Space – spatial forms in modern versions of Euripides’ Herakles

11.00-11.30Tea/coffee and biscuits: Clothworkers Foyer

11.30-13.00 Session 4a: Hercules Drawn (Music LR1)

Katherine Lu Hsu (CUNY), “Heroism” is a Madness: Transgressing Boundaries in Steve Moore’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars

T. H. M. Gellar-Goad (Wake Forest University): Sex and gender, race and Orientalism in Steve Moore’s Hercules comics

Ayelet Peer (Tel Aviv): The labours of Hercules-Sama

Session 4b: Iberian Hercules (Music ##)

Adriana Nogueira (University of Algarve / CECH – University of Coimbra): When the Saints are Greek Heroes: Heracles and Saint Anthony of Lisbon

Pamina Fernández Camacho (University of Almería): What Identity for Hercules Gaditanus? The Role of the Gaditanian Hercules in the Invention of National History in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain

Maria Seijo-Richart (University of Leeds): A Coruña, cidade herculina: Hercules as founder of cities

13.00-14.00Lunch: Clothworkers Foyer

14:00-15:30Session 5: Art and the Viewer (Music LR1)

Anne-Sophie Laruelle (University of Liège)ː Hercules in the art of Renaissance Flemish tapestry

Aikaterini-Iliana Rassia (King’s College London)ː Hercules’ ethical dilemma in Early Modern Paintings and Drawings: At the crossroads between the virtue and the vice

Macsotay: From Winckelmann to Emeric-David

15.30-16.00Tea/coffee and biscuits: Clothworkers Foyer

16.00-17.30Session 6: Literature and Popular Thought (Music LR1)

Will Desmond (University of Maynooth)ː Hercules among the Germans

Frances Foster (University of Cambridge)ː Demigod, god or monster? Rick Riordan’s Hercules

Eleanor OKell (University of Leeds)ː Hercules in 21st Century Historical Fiction

18.00-19.00Dinner: Great Woodhouse Room, University House

19.30Oratorio event: Clothworkers Concert Hall

21:30-23:00Bar: Clothworkers Foyer

Sunday 9th July

08.00-09.00Breakfast (for residents): Refectory North

09:00-10:45Session 7: Hercules on and off the big screen (Music LR1)

Michael Williams (University of Southampton)ː ‘The Muscles of Hercules Beneath the Skin of Antinous’: Mapping Herculean Stardom in Film Fan-Magazine Discourse

Elena d’Amelio (University of the Republic of San Marino)ː The myth of Hercules in 1950s and 1960s peplum films

Jon Solomon (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)ː The Convergence of Family Values, Computer-Generated Monsters, and Cleavage in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

10.44-11.15Tea/coffee and biscuits: Clothworkers Foyer

11.15-12.45Session 8: Hercules on a variety of screens (Music LR1)

Sam Summers (University of Sunderland) A Real American Hero: The Superhero-ification of Disney’s Hercules

Jean Alvares and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell (Montclair State University)ː Hercules’ self-fashioning on screenː Millennial concerns and political dimensions

(virtual Joel Gordon (University of Otago)ː “I am Hercules!”: Rebooting, rationalization and heroism in 2014)

Alix Beaumont (ʏork)ː Through a Glass Partly: Reflections of Hercules in Cinema, Television and Video Games

12.45-13.00Conference close (Music LR1) Alastair Blanshard / Emma Stafford

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