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Culture

Renowned Classicist Emily Wilson Presents ‘The Wisdom of Stories’ in NYC

NEW YORK – The Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens will feature Emily Wilson, renowned classicist and translator of ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer and, more recently, ‘The Iliad’, on Wednesday, May 8, 6 PM at St. Bart’s Church, 352 Park Avenue in Manhattan. The lecture will be free and live-streamed.

This is the third and final of her three lectures that are part of the 2023-24 Thalia Potamianos Annual Lecture Series. The NYC lecture will focus on ‘The Wisdom of Stories’.

“My three talks examine the themes of heroic greatness, destiny and wisdom in the Homeric poems and other works of ancient Greek literature,” explained Prof. Wilson. “I reconsider the connections, gaps, and differences between antiquity and contemporary cultures.”

Dr. Wilson added: “I am thrilled to be a part of this season’s Thalia Potamianos Lecture Series, which provides a platform to examine the profound influence of ancient Greece on our contemporary world. By fostering dialogue and intellectual exchange, we hope to broaden our understanding of the past and its impact on the present.”

Dr. Maria Georgopoulou, Director of the Gennadius Library said, “we are delighted to host such a brilliant, spirited classicist, who does not shy away from reinterpreting ancient texts through translation in order to showcase how connected they are with our world today.”

Emily Wilson has dedicated her career to investigating the profound and varied influences of ancient Greek and Roman literature on later cultures, to uncovering surprising new angles on canonical works of ancient poetry and philosophy, and to making these complex texts available to contemporary audiences. She has been instrumental in shedding new light on the works of ancient writers and promoting an inclusive and diverse perspective in classical studies.

She is, perhaps, best known for her critically acclaimed translation of ’The Odyssey’ (2017) into English, providing a fresh, unique translation of Homer’s work in iambic pentameter. Wilson’s Odyssey was named by The New York Times as one of its 100 notable books of 2018, and it was shortlisted for the 2018 National Translation Award. In 2019, Wilson was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship ‘genius grant’ for her work bringing classical literature to new audiences.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Emily Wilson is a professor in the Department of Classical Studies and serves as the Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. Her highly anticipated translation of the Iliad is set to be published this September by W.W. Norton & Company.

The Thalia Potamianos Annual Lectures Series was

established in June 2020, seeks to create a stimulating environment to draw the academic community and the 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.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from Gennadius Library Overseer Phokion Potamianos, who named the series in memory of his grandmother, a distinguished Greek biochemist, scientist, and philanthropist.

For more information about the lecture series and to register for a seat, please visit ascsa.edu.gr/potamianos-lecture-series.

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