ATHENS – The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) Gennadius Library Annual Lecture Series Thalia Potamianos continues for 2022-2023 on Thursday, November 10, 7 PM Greece/12 PM U.S. (EST) at Cotsen Hall, Anapiron Polemou 9 in Athens, and online, with a lecture by Dr. Emily Wilson entitled Heroes: Big Men, Big Mouths, Big Stories (with simultaneous translation into Greek). The speaker will be introduced by Christos Carras, Executive Director of the Onassis Stegi (Onassis Cultural Centre).
The lecture will be followed by a reading from the Odyssey by Dr. Wilson and the Greek singer Haris Alexiou accompanied on the piano by Thodoris Oikonomou, composer of the original music for Robert Wilson’s theatrical version of the Odyssey (Greek National Theater and Teatro Piccolo di Milano).
Register online today to attend either in person or online. All registrants will also be updated about the publication to follow: https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/register-thalia-potamianos.
The Thalia Potamianos lectures are being made possible by a generous grant from Phokion Potamianos, an Overseer of the Gennadius Library. Mr. Potamianos named the series in memory of his grandmother, a distinguished Greek doctor, academic, and philanthropist.
Dr. Maria Georgopoulou, Director of the Gennadius Library, said: “We are delighted to host such a brilliant and energetic classicist who does not shy away from reinterpreting ancient texts through translation in order to showcase how connected they are with our world today.”
These lectures will be free, both live and livestreamed, in Athens on November 10, in Washington, DC on January 24, 2023, and in New York City on May 9, 2023.
Dr. Wilson, recipient of The MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant”, has received attention worldwide as the first woman to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.
The New York Times named Wilson’s translation one of its 100 notable books of 2018. She is currently working on a translation of Homer’s Iliad.
Andreas Zombanakis, Chairman of the Gennadius Library’s Board of Overseers, noted that “Emily Wilson’s dialogue with antiquity is an antidote reminding us of the continuing relevance of the Classics to modern day life and culture.”
“Myth, Magic and Mystery as depicted in ancient Greek epic, drama and philosophy, and their receptions in later cultures including present day, will be the topics for my Thalia Potamianos Lecture Series,” Dr. Wilson said. “The series will consider what elements of ancient Greek culture are most surprising, most reinterpreted or misunderstood, and most difficult to translate. Greek ideas about heroism, time, agency, poetics, politics, and ethics have informed and inspired scholars, students and communities for millennia.”
The lectures will overlay these themes onto present day culture.
The Thalia Potamianos Annual Lecture Series commenced in 2021 with inaugural speaker, Dr. Peter Frankopan, a Professor of Global History at Oxford University and the Stavros Niarchos Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. A world-renowned historian and award-winning author, he presented his series of lectures on Global Greece: A History.
Each year, the Potamianos Lecture Series seeks to create a stimulating environment to draw both the academic community and public to the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Every year, a highly distinguished, internationally renowned scholar is selected to conduct research and develop programs on a topic relevant to the Gennadius Library. The research will culminate in a minimum of three annual public lectures, which will be delivered in Athens and the United States.
More information is available online: https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/.