New Approaches to Classics Lecture: Professor Niek Janssen

  • Starts: 4:45 pm on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
  • Ends: 6:15 pm on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Title: Making Fit: Parody and Decorum in Greco-Roman Literature/ Description: The concepts of decorum and to prepon pervade Greco-Roman ethical and aesthetic thought. Yet ancient theorists from Plato to Dionysius, Cicero, Horace, and Quintilian struggle to articulate what "appropriateness" is and how it is grounded. By confronting these theorists with parodic and comedic texts, which stand in a double, transgressive-yet-conservative relationship to decorum, I argue that this inarticulability is a feature, not a bug, of the concept. Texts like Hegemon's Parodies, Plautus' Asinaria, and the Pseudo-Virgilian Culex reveal the instability of decorum as a basis for normative thought--as a principle for aesthetic judgment and social inclusion/exclusion.
College of Arts & Sciences B18
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