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Sappho As Imagined: From Plato’s Pillow Book to Lesbian Icon

Tuesday, February 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Shane Hawkins, Carleton University

There are few names from antiquity as widely recognized as Sappho, and few poets whose work has been so consumed with controversy. Her poetry was revered in antiquity, though reading and appreciating it had already become difficult and the putative details of her private life—and often the outlandish tales about her that may derive from Greek comedy—threatened to overshadow the beauty of her verse even then. This talk explores the long history of (re)imagining Sappho from antiquity until today. As sublime poet, schoolmistress, music teacher, jilted and doomed lover, feminist heroine and gay role model, Sappho has been continually re-read and mis-read from the archaic period up to the recent sensational discoveries of new poems and the tabloid-worthy scandals surrounding them. The fragmentary state of her poetry and its powerful emotional content have haunted the imagination of readers for over two and a half millennia.

in person at Dominion-Chalmers Cultural Centre, 355 Cooper Street, Ottawa

Shane Hawkins is Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies and Director of the College of Humanities at Carleton University. His research is on ancient Greek literature and historical linguistics. He has published on Homer, Hesiod, the Greek lyric poets, Aristophanes, and on the ancient Greek language. He is currently writing a commentary on Ancient Greek Iambic Poetry.

Co-sponsored by the Parnassos Hellenic Cultural Society of Ottawa.

Green olive branch  


Tuesday, February 14
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
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CIMS Ottawa


Dominion Chalmers, 355 Cooper Street