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Sunday, October 14, 2018

**Special Guest Episode on Classics and Race/Ethnicity w/Rebecca Futo Kennedy**

This is the second episode in a series where I converse with Classicists about either books or articles that they have published, their current research interests, or just unique classes and topics that they are teaching and exploring further. 

In today's special guest episode, I am joined by Dr Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Denison University in Granville, OH. Her primary teaching and research areas include the history of Archaic and Classical Greece, race and ethnicity in the ancient Mediterranean, and women, gender, and sexuality in antiquity. She is the author and editor of a number of books and articles, including Immigrant Women in AthensThe Routledge Handbook of Identity and the Environment in the Classical and Medieval WorldsRace and Ethnicity in the Classical World: An Anthology of Sources, and, most recently, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus. She is currently working on the reception of ancient theories of race and ethnicity in the early Smithsonian, on the way inheritance and property laws reflect Athenian understanding of ethnic identity, and on ancient theories on race and ethnicity and their contemporary complications.

In the first hour of the conversation, Dr. Kennedy and I have a lively discussion about race, ethnicity, immigration, and multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean. Along the way we point out many of the misconceptions that there are on these topics, and in the second hour we discuss how these misconceptions were shaped by early modern European and American political thought. In doing so, we discuss a course that Dr. Kennedy is currently teaching called Ancient Art, Modern Politics, which examines art and architecture in ancient Greece and Rome and the history of its appropriation by modern fascist, nationalist, and white supremacist movements. Along the way we talk about the theories of German art historian Johann Winckelmann, particularly his fetishization of white marble statues, the use of Classical forms at World’s Fairs to explicitly yoke antiquity to support white supremacy, Mussolini’s reconstruction of Rome and his use of the ancient Roman past in support of Fascist ideology, Hitler’s fascination with ancient Greece and his white European-centric reconstruction of history that has been erroneously perpetuated (which leads into a digression about the impact that Classicists can have on the narrative by perpetuating racist and false versions of Greek history contrary to the evidence), and finally the cooption of classical sculpture in modern white supremacist groups.

There’s quite a bit in this episode, and like reading Herodotus, our conversation had many digressions, but we always found our way back to the original question. So without further ado, here is my conversation with Dr. Rebecca Futo Kennedy.



Dr. Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Denison University

Related Articles

Related Podcast Episodes
"'Us' & 'Them' in the Ancient & Anglo-Saxon Worlds" @ The Endless Knot podcast by Mark Sundaram and Aven McMaster
"Race and Racism in Ancient and Medieval Studies, Part 1: The Problem" @ The Endless Knot podcast by Mark Sundaram and Aven McMaster
"Race and Racism in Ancient and Medieval Studies, Part 2: The Response" @ The Endless Knot podcast by Mark Sundaram and Aven McMaster

Sunday, October 7, 2018

**Special Guest Episode on Classics and Misogyny w/Donna Zuckerberg**

This is the first episode in a series where I converse with Classicists about either books or articles that they have published, their current research interests, or just unique classes and topics that they are teaching and exploring further. 

In today's special guest episode, Dr Donna Zuckerberg and I talk about her role as Editor-in-Chief of Eidolon, which is an online journal for scholarly writing about Classics that isn’t formal scholarship. This leads us into a discussion about the importance of public-facing historical scholarship. More importantly, though, we discuss her new book titled “Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age", which is a study of the reception of Classics in Red Pill communities.



"A virulent strain of antifeminism is thriving online that treats women’s empowerment as a mortal threat to men and to the integrity of Western civilization. Its proponents cite ancient Greek and Latin texts to support their claims―arguing that they articulate a model of masculinity that sustained generations but is now under siege. Donna Zuckerberg dives deep into the virtual communities of the far right, where men lament their loss of power and privilege and strategize about how to reclaim them. She finds, mixed in with weightlifting tips and misogynistic vitriol, the words of the Stoics deployed to support an ideal vision of masculine life. On other sites, pickup artists quote Ovid’s Ars Amatoria to justify ignoring women’s boundaries. By appropriating the Classics, these men lend a veneer of intellectual authority and ancient wisdom to their project of patriarchal white supremacy. In defense or retaliation, feminists have also taken up the Classics online, to counter the sanctioning of violence against women. Not All Dead White Men reveals that some of the most controversial and consequential debates about the legacy of the ancients are raging not in universities but online."

Here is my conversation with Dr. Donna Zuckerberg.




***You can order Dr. Zuckerberg's book here (Harvard University Press or Amazon)***

Sunday, September 30, 2018

081 - Orphism, Omens, and Oracles

In this episode, we discuss the myths, iconography, and cultic worship of Orpheus and his Mysteries; the Orphic Hymns and the Orphic Theogony; the Orphic Hymn to Melinoe and her connection to the Mysteries, Hekate, and Hermes Psychopompos; the roles of omens, divination, and itinerant seers (including the mythic figures of Tiresias, Mopsus, and Chalcias, as well as historical figures like Lampon); and the roles of oracles (including the myths and cultic worship of Apollo in regard to Delphi, Python, the Pythia, the Sibyl, and Daphne, as well as the archaeological evidence, rituals, and importance of the oracles at Delphi, those in Boeotia, and those in Ionia (ex. Didyma and Claros)


File:Life of Orpheus Greek Mythology.svg
File:Orpheus Thracians Met 24.97.30.jpg
File:Kantharos63.9.jpg
File:DSC00355 - Orfeo (epoca romana) - Foto G. Dall'Orto.jpg
File:Orfeu-atenas.jpg
File:Orphic Gold Tablet (Petelia - British Museum, London).jpg
File:Orphic Gold Tablet (Thessaly-The Getty Villa, Malibu).jpg


Recommended Sources for Further Reading:
Text/The Orphic Hymns
Text/Homeric Hymn to Apollo


Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:
Myths and Legends Episode 52 An Eternal Flame
Mythology Translated Ep 73 Another Jaunt To The Underworld

Monday, September 3, 2018

080 - Hekate and Magic

In this episode, we discuss the myths, iconography, and cultic worship of Hekate, the goddess associated with magic, sorcery, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, crossroads, entrance-ways, ghosts, and necromancy; including her connections and/or syncretizations with Iphigenia, Artemis, Selene, the Fures, the Keres, the Semnai Theai, Empousa, Lamia, Circe, and Medea; and the "monstrous craft" of magikos in ancient Greece, including curse tablets, binding spells, love spells, potions, and amulets




Wednesday, August 22, 2018

079 - Old Age, Death, and Burial

In this episode, we discuss what life was like for the elderly in ancient Greece, the liminal stage between life and death, the rituals and importance of the funeral and burial, the archaeology of the Kerameikos in Athens and its significance in our understanding of Greek funerary practices, the importance of the demosion sema and epitaphios logos in Athenian democracy, and the evolution of Greek funerary monuments from the archaic into the Hellenistic period