Department of Greek & Latin



Information about our meetings and seminars



30 November 2021

The Future of the Classical. Our first meeting will be held online on 30th November, 2021. We shall read extracts from Salvatore Settis’ book The Future of the ‘Classical’. One of us will present a response to this text from the perspective of the pre-modern Indian ‘classical’, and we plan to devote the bulk of our time to a discussion of the material.

28 March 2022

Śakuntalā. This second session will be dedicated to the drama Śakuntalā and to the history of its modern reception--and canonization as a classic--in Europe and India. Composed in Sanskrit and Prakrit by the poet Kālidāsa between the 4th and 5th century CE, and almost instantaneously influential in pre-modern Indian literary tradition, the play Śakuntalā is often quoted as a paradigmatic case of early inclusion of an Asian literary work into the modern Western conceptualization of a 'World's Classics canon’. What does Śakuntalā's story of integration into a Western conception of a world canon tell us about the process by which a literary work becomes a classic in this modern sense of the word? And how does this process of literary canonization compare and intersect with the trajectory of the reception of Kālidāsa's Śakuntalā in colonial and postcolonial India?