The literary expression of self-entwined-with-environment that courses through classical texts shows that every action seeds the possibility for perspectival change, and offers the opportunity radically to transform the universe, the group, and the individual, through myth making, and in the interrogation of where power (words, syntax, systems; fear, love, creation, destruction) is located — or locates itself.
There’s always a story to the best meals, isn't there? and the best dinners create as well as build on them, in leaps and bounds and by stealth. There are the myths (did dad really always sneakily grab twice as many roast potatoes as everyone else then look askance when called on it? Did I … Continue reading Seeing out the old, in the shadow of the new
VarroVerse, the third publication: Varro, and the Red Queen problem... (2010-2015) ‘Urban flux: Varro’s Rome-in-progress’, in The Moving City: Processions, Passages and Promenades in Ancient Rome. In Östenberg, I., Malmberg, S., and Bjørnebye, J. 2015 (eds.). London: Bloomsbury, pp. 99-110. Background In 2010 I received an intriguingly well-timed invitation from Ida Östenberg, Simon Malmberg, and … Continue reading Three great luminaries… (or, ‘how I wrote the book’), Part IV
VarroVerse, the second publication: Rome, movement, language, and Varro (2008-2011) ‘Movement and the Linguistic Turn: Reading Varro’s de Lingua Latina’. In Laurence, R. and Newsome, D. J. 2011 (eds.) Rome, Ostia, Pompeii: Movement and Space. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 57-80. Background Some might argue that I’ve written these blog posts out of sequence. I say, stories … Continue reading Three great luminaries… (or, ‘how I wrote the book’), Part III
VarroVerse, the first publication: Cultural Memory and Varro (2009-2011) ‘“῾Ρωμαίζω… ergo sum”: becoming Roman in Varro’s de Lingua Latina’. In Bommas, M. (ed.) Cultural Memory and Identity in Ancient Societies. London: Continuum, pp. 43-60. Background In 2009, the Department took cultural memory* as a research theme, and I was invited to give a paper as part … Continue reading Three great luminaries… (or, ‘how I wrote the book’), Part II
Twelve students, three academics, and over two millennia of art, literature, architecture. Our Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Rome trip 2016!
I love the frisson of terror that live theatre produces. For me, in the audience, it's as thrilling as a high-wire act to see people transformed by stepping into performance space, becoming something entirely other to their everyday selves. Will that transformation stick? Will I suspend or wallow in my disbelief? Will some element of the … Continue reading Shepherding thought (and a coda from Varro)
Journeys to “Rome” (what and where and whose is Rome?) more than to any other city are characterised by a remarkable depth and intensity in their narrative dimension. Although the printing press made dissemination of itineraries possible, and the survival of a sample at least suggests their popularity, guidebooks to Rome were far from a pop-cultural … Continue reading Prequel / a tiny Grand Tour
As the centenary of Ireland's Easter 1916 Rising approaches, no doubt with all sorts of moving, surprising, challenging, thought-provoking events encouraging reflexion on a century's accretion of meaning, as so often, my thoughts return to Rome. I like to think that Rome's ever-presence in my frame of reference is charming. It certainly draws on my … Continue reading Echoes of Garibaldi
Making distinctions and observing boundaries are two activities central to my working life. They tend to bleed through, inevitably, to the rare minutes when I believe myself instead to be at liberty. I was struck in various ways, recently, by the near-impossibility of delivering crisp limits in an increasingly greyscale academic/life framework. Three images are … Continue reading b/w