Associate Professor of Classics Jesse Weiner recently presented lectures in Belo Horizonte and Manaus, Brazil.
In Belo Horizonte, he participated in a conference titled “X Simpósio Lendo, Vendo e Ouvindo o Passado: ‘Metamorfoses’ e metamorphoses” (“10th Symposium on Reading, Seeing, and Hearing the Past: Metamorphoses and metamorphoses”), hosted by Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and Universidade Federal de Uberlândia. The conference explored Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the topic of change in ancient culture, broadly conceived.
In his talk, “Metamorphic Classics: A Changing Discipline in Changing Times,” Weiner discussed changes and challenges to the field of classics in the current political and economic climate, with special attention given to global and postcolonial contexts.
While in Belo Horizonte, he presented an invited lecture about “Frankenstein and Its Classics: The Modern Prometheus from Antiquity to Science Fiction” at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
The talk was based on a book of the same title published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018, which Weiner edited. It focused on classical receptions in Frankenstein and their importance for the modern science fiction genre. Weiner discussed how the myth, philosophy, and literature of antiquity can help us think through pressing questions of modernity, ranging from scientific ethics to socio-political inclusion.
Weiner also presented at “Conflict Resolution in Ancient and Modern Contexts III: Teaching Conflict Resolution from Antiquity to the Present,” a workshop that took place at Universidade do Estado do Amazonas in Manaus.
In his paper, “Aeschylus in Missouri: Framing Difficult Conversations with Classics,” Weiner drew on science fiction theory and the concept of cognitive estrangement to discuss his experience teaching Greek tragedy at Hamilton during the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in November of 2014.