Assistant Professor of Classics Jesse Weiner recently presented papers in Washington, D.C., and Bloomington, Ill.
He presented as a member of the “Reading and Writing the Classics in Antiquity and Beyond” panel at the annual meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Washington.
In a paper titled “Canon Fodder: Joel Barlow’s Columbiad and the Epic Tradition,” Weiner focused on an early American attempt to right a national epic (The Columbiad) and the ways in which its author, Joel Barlow, positioned the poem both within and above the classical tradition.
He also served as a mentor for junior scholars navigating the academic job market for the first time.
Weiner discussed “‘Mind Playing Tricks on Me’: Representations of Combat Trauma in Greek Tragedy and Hip-hop” at Illinois Wesleyan University. The talk was part of the Ides Lecture Series and drew on modern psychiatry to put Sophocles’ tragedy Ajax into conversation with Geto Boys’ iconic hip-hop song “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (1991).
He suggested that despite obvious temporal, cultural, linguistic, and generic gulfs between them, these poems are mutually illuminating and suggest shared psychological response to violent experiences.