Department of Greek & Latin


The Politics of Form in Greek Culture

Friday, 17 June, 2016
Common Ground, Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Wilkins Building

The conference seeks to explore the relationship between form and political life in Greek textual and visual culture.  The general problem of form and politics has been extensively studied by thinkers, from Georg Lukács to Theodor Adorno, from Cleanth Brooks to Jacques Rancière.  Within classical studies, in particular, scholars have often sought to historicize aesthetic practices and the development of genres (e.g. epic poetry, lyric poetry, historiography, tragedy).  But historicism has been only one mode of approaching the question of form, and classical scholars have also related the formal to a number of other issues (e.g. gender).  In bringing together a range of experts, the conference attempts to develop these and related approaches further, to to assess their limitations, and to discuss possibilities for the future.  Papers will sketch out the specifically Greek contribution to the debate, as also the implications for other disciplines.  We hope that what emerges from the conference are new ways of thinking about form and indeed about politics.


William Fitzgerald
Edith Hall
Ruth Webb
Tim Whitmarsh
Victoria Wohl
Nancy Worman

  • For the programme, please click here: programme.
  • For the poster, please click here: poster.
  • For maps and directions, please click here: maps.

For further information, please contact Professor Phiroze Vasunia.
The conference is open to all without fee or ticket.

The conference is sponsored by the A. G. Leventis Trust, the Institute of Advanced Studies, the Institute of Classical Studies, and the Jowett Copyright Trust. 

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, 1653.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Purchase, special contributions and funds given or bequeathed by friends of the Museum, 1961.  www.metmuseum.org.