Winslow Professor of Classics Carl Rubino was invited to make two presentations at the University of South Carolina. On Feb. 10 he led a workshop for the University's Classics and Contemporary Perspectives group on "Horace, Odes 4.1: The Voices of Silence," and on Feb. 11 he gave a public lecture titled “Articulating Wonder in a Secular Age.”
Arguing against the claim that science has robbed the universe of its mystery and the power to inspire wonder his lecture explored some of the ways in which the new sciences of complexity can restore a sense of wonder without appealing to conventional notions of deity. In doing so, Rubino appealed to sources ranging from Aristotle, the Psalms, Sherlock Holmes, and Italo Calvino to Kant, Darwin, Peirce, Stephen Jay Gould, Willa Cather and Claude Lévi-Strauss.
In his Classics and Contemporary Perspectives workshop, he noted that Odes 4.1. is marked by significant moments of silence that are instrumental in carrying the poem to its conclusion. Not only does the poem tell us a much about the poet's ironic sense of himself, but it also shows how silence plays a significant structural role in his poetry, preparing us for seemingly abrupt transitions and signaling some astonishing changes of direction.
Rubino traveled to South Carolina as a guest of the University's Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.