SCS-39: Classics and the Postcolonial in the Americas

  In-Person   SCS Session   Workshop


Rosa Andujar, King’s College London; Justine McConnell, King’s College London


Cristina Pérez Díaz, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, UNAM; Justine McConnell, King’s College London


This workshop, connected to the new Classics and the Postcolonial book series at Routledge, aims to engage attendees in a broad discussion about Greco-Roman antiquity and its complex postcolonial legacies in the Americas.

Over the last thirty years scholars have accentuated the key role of Greek and Roman texts and ideas within European colonizing and imperializing missions across the globe, from the fifteenth century onward (Quint 1993, Lupher 2003, Goff 2005, Bradley 2010, Vasunia 2013). Recent work has examined the way in which artists and authors from contexts in which classical texts were imported by European powers have chosen to appropriate, recontextualize, and re- envision these texts, enabling them to assume new roles, meanings and forms for local communities and audiences (Hardwick and Gillespie 2007, Greenwood 2010, McConnell 2013, Rizo and Henry 2016, Parker 2017, Moyer, Lecznar and Morse 2020). This research reveals the prominent place of Classics within anti-colonial and postcolonial discourse.

When it comes to the rich and varied reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in the Americas, however, the frames of coloniality and postcoloniality are typically discarded, as scholars tend to favor more general terms such as "Eurocentrism" or "classicism" when describing engagements with the Greeks and Romans across this vast and diverse region. The workshop thus aims to discuss the ways in which "Classics" and the "postcolonial" intersect in the Americas. The workshop will feature 10-minute presentations from the organizers and three speakers who will outline new theoretical models and methodologies for understanding the ways in which Classics and the postcolonial are entangled in selected contexts: Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and the United States.