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Classics in a Different Voice

Carol Gilligan

In this presentation, I will focus on the psychological acuity of classical writers and how their insights resonate with contemporary observations. Specifically, I will consider the shift in Iphigenia’s voice in Euripides’s Iphigenia in Aulis from questioning a culture that values honor over life and love to aligning herself with its values and the change in Virgil’s Aeneid from pius Aeneas to saevus Aeneas, suggesting that they illuminate how the tensions between patriarchy and democracy or republic and empire play out in the lives of contemporary women and men.

                In communicating classical studies to wider audiences, I have written both non-fiction and fiction, using non-fiction to show how the voices of characters in classical tragedies or epics resonate with voices heard across time and cultures, including in contemporary settings. In fiction, I explore questions implicit in the works of classical writers, for example, what if the Aeneid were imagined from Dido’s standpoint and told as a contemporary story? 

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Writing outside the Box: Communicating Classical Studies to Wider Audiences

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