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Skidmore College

Classics Honors
The David H. Porter Classical World Lecture

Prof. David H. PorterIn honor of his tremendous contributions to the college as former president, to the department and our students as emeritus professor and inaugural holder of the Tisch Family Distinguished Professorship, and to his continuing work in the discipline, Skidmore's Classics Department has renamed the annual departmental lecture as the David H. Porter Classical World Lecture. This lecture is a highlight of the spring semester and part of the department's gateway course, CC 200: The Classical World.

Spring 2021 

Prof. Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Denison University: “Do the Ancient Greek and Romans Have ‘Race’?”

Drawing case studies from Periclean Athens and early Imperial Rome, Professor Kennedy will explore some ways in which ancient Greeks and Romans discussed human cultural and physical variation, and whether it is possible to talk about "race in antiquity" to begin with.

This year’s lecture will be held via Zoom. Advance registration is mandatory. To register, please click here.

Prof. Kennedy's talk follows a long and distinguished series of Classical World Lectures. Previous speakers include

  • Elizabeth Marlowe, Colgate University, “Whiteness, Masculinity, and other Problems with the Classical Ideal, Then and Now” (2020)
  • Diane Conlin, University of Colorado-Boulder, “The Art of Roman Coins” (2019)
  • Andrea Eis, Oakland University,  “Penelope's Odyssey” (2018)
  • Elizabeth Fisher, Randolph-Macon College, "Greece and Ethiopia: Visiting the 'Farthest of Men'" (2017)
  • Barry Strauss, Cornell University, "The Death of Caesar" (2016)
  • Vassiliki (Lily) Panoussi, College of William and Mary: " 'Isis at a Roman Wedding': Gender and Ethnicity in Ovid's Metamorphoses" (2015)
  • Brian Rose, University of Pennsylvania, "Troy Through the Ages" (2014)
  • Jennifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University, "The Parthenon Sculptures and the Policies of Pericles" (2013)
  • Ellen McLaughlin, "Penelope: A One-Act Play" (2012)
  • Jeffrey Hurwit, University of Oregon, "The Shipwreck of Odysseus" (2011)
  • Ruth Scodel, University of Michigan, "Mind-Reading in Homer's Odyssey" (2010)
  • Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Union College, "Roman Law and Roman History: Debt Bondage and Sexual Politics" (2009)
  • Robert E. Proctor, Connecticut College, "From Violence to Beauty: Roman Origins of the Liberal Arts Tradition" (2008)
  • David Porter (then at Williams College), "Sophia's Choices: Smart Women of the Ancient Greek Stage" (2006)
  • Richard Tarrant, Harvard University, "Past, Present and Future in Virgil's Aeneid" (2005)
  • Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University, "To Look at the World Twice: Thinking about Translations and Translating" (2003)
  • Aquila Theater Company, New York City, "Aristophanes' Clouds" (2002)
  • Elaine Pagels, Princeton University, "The Secret Jesus Revealed" (2001)
  • Christopher Pelling, University College, Oxford University, "Anything You Can Do We Can Do Better: The Legend of Cleopatra in Antiquity" (2000)
  • Charles Segal, Harvard University, "Journey, Death and Knowledge in the Classical Epic Tradition: From Gilgamesh to Ovid" (1999)
  • Robert Fagles, Princeton University, "Readings from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey" (1998)
  • Adele Haft, Hunter College, "Maps, Mazes, and Monsters: The Iconography of the Library in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose" (1997)
  • Inagural Lecture: Michael Putnam, Brown University, "On Vergil and Politics" (1996)