Show/hide main menu

Level 7

7AACM800 Research Training and Dissertation in Classical Reception

Credit value: 60 credits
Module convenor/tutor: Dr Dan Orrells (dissertation supervisor allocated depending on dissertation topic)
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour training seminars (weekly in Semester 1); dissertation meetings as agreed with supervisor
Assessment: 1 x dissertation of no more than 12,000 words (100%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The dissertation is the core element of the MA in The Classical World & its Reception: this module aims to provide the student with an advanced introduction to classical reception studies through a series of training seminars in the first semester.

The story of the invention of modernity is a story about how successive intellectuals, writers and artists have defined their modernity in relation to an ancient past. The Renaissance emerged out of an intense engagement with ancient Greece and Rome; the seventeenth century played out the so­ called quarrel of the ancients and moderns; the eighteenth-­century enlightenment emerged out of profound reflection on ancient literature, philosophy and art; and nineteenth-­ and twentieth-­century colonialisms justified their rationales and practices through reference to Greek and Roman imperialism. The history of western modernity is also the history of the reception of antiquity. It is this story which this module explores, in its aim to introduce students to the principal issues, ideas and methods involved in studying the reception of the classical world across a range of periods, societies, and media.

The module will examine the reception of the past within antiquity itself, and then move on to consider the reception of antiquity within successive, chronologically ordered periods after antiquity, beginning with late antiquity and Byzantine culture, culminating in antiquity in modern global politics.

The course will also equip students with tools and methodologies so that they can conduct their own independent research in classical reception studies.

Information and guidance on all aspects of your dissertation can be found in the Student Handbook.

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

General literary and intellectual history:

  • Auerbach,  Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Thought (Princeton, 2013)
  • Bolgar, R.R.  The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries (Cambridge, 1954)
  • Curtius, E.R. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages (London, 1985)
  • Hardwick, L. Reception Studies (Oxford, 2003)
  • Martindale, R. Redeeming the Text: Latin Poetry and the Hermeneutics of Reception (Cambridge, 1993)
  • Martindale, R. and R.F. Thomas, Classics and the Uses of Reception (Blackwell, 2006)

On 'humanism':

  • Kray, Jill, Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism (Cambridge, 1996)
  • Kristeller, Paul Oskar, Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic and Humanistic Strains (New York: Harper and Row, 1961)
  • Caruso, Carlo and Laird, Andrew 'The Italian Classical Tradition, Language and Literary History', in Caruso and Laird ed. Italy and the Classical Tradition: Language, Thought and Poetry 1300-1600 (London, 2009)

Renaissance Latin poetry and epic:

  • Hardie, Philip, R. ‘After Rome: Renaissance Epic’ in: Roman Epic ed. A.J. Boyle, (London, 1993), 294-313
  • Kallendorf, Craig, In Defense of Aeneas (Hanover and London, 1989)
  • David Quint, Epic and Empire: Politics and generic form from Virgil to Milton (Princeton, 1993)

Modern receptions:

  • Greenwood, E. Afro-Greeks: Dialogues between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2010)
  • Goldhill, S. Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity (Princeton, 2011)
  • Harloe, K. Winckelmann and the Invention of Antiquity: History and Aesthetics in the Age of Altertumswissenschaft (Oxford, 2013)
  • Leonard, M. Tragic Modernities (Cambridge, Mass., 2015)
  • Orrells, D. Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy (London/New York, 2015)
  • Orrells, D. G. Bhambra, and T. Roynon African Athena: New Agendas (Oxford, 2011)
  • Rankine, P. Ulysses in Black:  Ralph Ellison, Classicism, and African American literature (Madison, Wis., 2006)
  • Roynon, T. Transforming America: Toni Morrison and Classical Tradition (Oxford, 2013)
  • Stray, C. Classics Transformed: Schools, Universities, and Society in England, 1830-1960 (Oxford, 1998)
  • Valdez, D. German Philhellenism: The Pathos of the Historical Imagination from Winckelmann to Goethe (Basingstoke, 2014)
  • Vasunia, P. The Classics and Colonial India (Oxford, 2014)
Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454