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The Green Fear of Death: Flowers, Fertility and Monstrousness in Homeric Poetry

Friday, February 27 2015 3:30 pm

UWM Curtin Hall 939

Workshop in Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Dr. William Brockliss, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“The Green Fear of Death: Flowers, Fertility and Monstrousness in Homeric Poetry”

Friday, February 27, 2015, 3:30 pm
UWM Curtin Hall 939

The title of Dr. Brockliss’s talk is “The Green Fear of Death: Flowers, Fertility, and Monstrousness in Homeric Poetry.” This talk will survey Homeric floral imagery of death, and argue that the imagery does not carry the sorts of associations with the brevity of life that we might expect from the Greek elegiac poets, or indeed from Anglophone poetry. Rather, it focuses on the concept of fertility, at times an extreme fertility. Drawing primarily on the work of Jean-Pierre Vernant, Dr. Brockliss hopes to show that this concept evokes the monstrous otherness of death, which Vernant associates in particular with the mask of the Gorgon.

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Hosted by the Center for 21st Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Supported by the departments of Anthropology, Art History, History, and the program in Classics within the department of Foreign Languages and Literature at UWM.