Antiquity & Cultural Memory in the Maghreb (Morocco & Tunisia)

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Jacobs Science Building 321
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MCLLC ~ Bluegrass Classics Lectures 

Antiquity and Cultural Memory in the Maghreb (Morocco & Tunisia)

Prof. Dr. Anja Bettenworth

Professorin für Klassische Philologie
Universität zu Köln
Conception of space and reception of antiquity in Abdelaziz Ferrah's novel Moi, Saint Augustin

  • Prof. Bettenworth is Professor of Latin at the University of Cologne. She specializes in Roman Elegy, Greek-Roman Epic, Curtius Rufus, andthe Reception of the Antiquity, especially in modern Maghreb. Her current project examines the reception of antiquity in modern literature and film of the Maghreb. The focus is on the role that ancient figures play in the post-colonial societies of North Africa, especially for the Berber population.

Dr. Ridha Moumni
Tunisia Postdoctoral Fellow
Ottoman Carthage: the reception of antiquities by Tunisian ruling class (19th cent.)

  • Dr. Ridha Moumni is currently an Aga Khan Fellow at the Department of Art History of Harvard University. He is conducting research at Harvard’s Center of Middle Eastern Studies on the collection of Muhammad Khaznadar, the first Tunisian dignitary to excavate the ancient site of Carthage. A second project explores the role of the arts in nation building in Postcolonial Tunisia. Dr Moumni recently published a book on Tunisian visual artists from the 19th century to the Revolution. He is currently at work on a book project on the collections of Bardo National Museum.

Prof. Nisrine Slitine El Mghari
Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, and French and Francophone Studies | ​Modern and Classical Languages Literatures and Cultures | University of Kentucky
The Moroccan Imperial City of Fez : A Quest for Collective Memory

  • Professor Slitine El Mghari's research focuses on representations of the city in 20th- and 21st-century Francophone and Arabophone Moroccan literature. More specifically, her work concerns itself with the different social, historical, and political forces that contribute to the construction of urban spaces, and draws on various critical and theoretical fields, including colonial and postcolonial studies, cultural memory studies, gender studies, and literary studies, while at the same time considering different contemporary Moroccan urban structures from a spatio-temporal perspective. Currently, she explores forms of popular culture, ranging from grafitti, the graphic novel, to new-age journalism, as well as texts written in dārija (the Moroccan dialect). Her interest in cinema studies includes more contemporary genres like the various web series produced by young North African artists and examining social, cultural, and political realities. Her research areas are also in Maghrebi Francophone and Arabophone literature and civilization, Sub-Saharan Francophone fiction, and French Antillian literature and culture. 

Prof. Paolo Visonà Associate Professor Adjunct | School of Art and Visual Studies | University of Kentucky

Ancient Coins in Motion: Numismatic Finds in Tunisia from the 16th to the Early 20th Centuries

  • Paolo Visonà is a classical archaeologist who has been the principal investigator on several long-term excavation projects in Italy that were supported by the Mamertion Foundation, and later by the Foundation for Calabrian Archaeology.  His publications include studies in archaeology, art history and numismatics.  At the University of Kentucky, he has taught classes on classical mythology, Greek and Roman art, and a seminar on ancient coins.

Fear of Immigrant Women: What ancient Athens can tell us about current debates

Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Jacobs Science Building
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Virgil, Wordsworth and the anxieties of translation: literalism, lake poetry and lyric revision

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Transylvania University Cowgill Hall 102
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Virgil, Wordsworth and the anxieties of translation:  literalism, lake poetry and lyric revision

Stephen Hinds (University of Washington, Seattle)

In his current book project, Poetry across Languages: Studies in Transliteral and Transcultural Latin, Stephen Hinds moves between periods to explore the cross-linguistic and intercultural relations of poetic writing in Latin within antiquity, between antiquity and modernity, and even within modernity.  Throughout, he is concerned to treat the ‘classical tradition’ as process rather than as product, involving many micro-negotiations of authors and readers across language and culture.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), who in his fifties began and then abandoned a translation of the Aeneid, had a long and sometimes anxious history of engagement with the classical tradition.  The ebb and flow of that engagement can be dramatized by sampling (via the monumental Cornell edition of Wordsworth) the poet’s own first drafts, revisions and deletions, and the editorial and commentatorial interventions of friends and family.  After a look at some moments in Wordsworth’s Aeneid (vigorously criticized by his great contemporary Samuel Taylor Coleridge), this paper focusses on the post-Virgilian Laodamia and, more briefly, on the Greek-inspired Dion (grounded in one of Plutarch’s Lives).  Trace-elements of Wordsworth’s distinctive poetic of lake and landscape will come into play at different points throughout.


The Egyptian Homer in Heliodorus' An Ethiopian Tale: Symbols, Thighs, and Questions of Identity.

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Cowgill 102, Transylvania University
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Annual Bluegrass Undergraduate Classics Conference & Halloween Party

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Alumni Gallery in the William T. Young Library

Annual Bluegrass Undergraduate Classics Conference & Halloween Party

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Alumni Gallery in the William T. Young Library

Chek-Mate, The Boor & The Proposal

Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 5:00pm
James F. Hardymon Theatre, 326 Rose Davis Marksbury Building


Translating The Proposal

By Polina Shafran

Wise men say that every translation is also an interpretation, because each translator adds something of himself or herself into the translated work. When I read Chekhov, I immediately imagine the people he writes about. In most cases these are just ordinary people, that one could have easily encountered if one lived in the 19th century.  Chekhov’s way of telling a story is through the characters he creates. His heroes are simple: doctors, engineers, teachers, land owners and other common people. The playwright is very particular about giving each one of his ordinary heroes their own distinct features. Like a painter, Chekhov uses small strokes to create a whole picture.  

When translating The Proposal one of my main desires was to preserve the characters Chekhov created. I wanted to capture the way each of the character speaks in the original Russian, then carefully transfer it to English without taking away the substance.  At times this task was quite challenging and required more thought and research: I am grateful to those who contributed their time to help and shared their advice with me. I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring these funny, awkward and naïve people to the audience. These people are part of my history and culture and I hope the audience will like them, laugh with them, and sometimes, at them. 

A Note From The Director…

It is always a pleasure to work with the great writers, and Chekhov is one of the true masters. I am generally attracted by the quality of writing in a play - how brilliant the dialogue, how meticulous the plotting, how seamless the transitions of tone and action. When you work with a play that has good writing, you have one problem less to worry about, and it allows actors, designers, and director to be able to concentrate on doing their jobs in producing something exciting and enlightening, and hopefully entertaining. To look at it in a certain sense, a good writer provides a scaffold of solid bone, onto which the better actors add flesh and sinew to make a living thing of those bones. The task of the designer then is to put clothes on it, while the director is required to give the new creature the manners and etiquette necessary to appear before the public.  All are necessary for a production or performance to be at its best, but without that strong initial bone structure, the rest can only be a chimera at best and a monstrosity at worst.  

We hope that this afternoon, you take as much pleasure in watching these plays, and that you learn as much about the period, the writer, and the culture, as we did in rehearsing them.


Slaymaker Translates 3/11 Book on Words Without Borders

By Gail Hairston
(March 11, 2016) - Excerpts from Doug Slaymaker’s translation of Furukawa Hideo’s latest book “Horses, Horses, in the Innocence of Light” were published on the online journal Words Without Borders.

Screening of "My Perestroika" and Q&A with director Robin Hessman

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Kentucky Theatre


Join us for an evening with filmmaker Robin Hessman and a screening of her award-winning documentary, MY PERESTROIKA (2010). The film tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed the joy and confusion of glasnost, and reached adulthood right as the world changed around them. A Q&A with the director will follow the film.

For more information please visit myperestroika.com



Professors Go Primal: A public lecture by the creators of the languages for Far Cry: Primal

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Whitehall CB Rm 114

This Wednesday, Andrew and Brenna Byrd will explain in detail their incredible journey back in time with Ubisoft's game "Far Cry: Primal." They will describe the process of creating two entire languages based off of Indo-European, how they trained the actors and worked with the directors and writers off and on set, and what they hope this exposure means for the field of historical linguistics. Additionally, there will be a short lesson in Wenja (the main language of the game), a scene reenactment with two talented theater students to show the filming process, and two copies of the game to raffle off to attendees. 




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