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Poet, Classics Professor to Discuss Value of Classical Education

James Bradley Wells, assistant professor of classical studies at DePauw University, will deliver a lecture titled “Building a Workshop: Classics as a Form of Transgressive Education” on Tuesday, Feb.11, at 4:10 p.m., in room G041 in the Taylor Science Center. The event is free, open to the public and sponsored by the Hamilton College Classics department.

In his lecture, Wells will explore the relationship between an education in Classics and his vocation as a poet. Characterized as obsolescent and irrelevant, the study of ancient Greek and Roman culture and literature seems now a misfit pursuit. Born into a poor, working class family, Wells extols the study of Classics as creatively radical, nonconformist and emancipatory—a “counter-hegemonic act,” as bell hooks has described transgressive education. The talk is in part a tribute to John Wyatt, a former Beloit College professor of classics, who inspired Wells to pursue his childhood ambition to become a writer.

 Wells earned his Ph.D. in classical studies from Indiana University. He has published two books: Pindar’s Verbal Act (2009), and a poetry collection titled Bicycle (2013), which was a finalist for the Four Way Books’s Intro Prize (2012), The National Poetry Series (2011) and Black Lawrence Press’s Hudson Prize (2010). Prior to joining the DePauw faculty, Wells was a member of the Hamilton College Classics department from 2007 to 2011.

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