The iconoclast of Classics, Page duBois refuses to act as border patrol for a sometimes fiercely protected traditional discipline. Instead, she incorporates insights from postcolonial, psychoanalytic, and postmodern theories into her nuanced close readings of ancient Greek texts. Contemporary theory and ancient texts are mutually transformed in the process. Out of Athens sets ancient Greek culture next to the global ancient world of Vedic India, the Han dynasty in China, and the empires that survived Alexander the Great. DuBois also extends the range of classical studies through illuminating transhistorical juxtapositions—ancients brush elbows with Colette as she performs as a mummy at the Moulin Rouge, or with Kirk Douglas as he appears on the silver screen as Spartacus. She reads the poetry of Sappho, the tattooed body of the sage Epimenides, as well as Athenian tragedy, Buddhist texts set in a post-Alexandrian Bactria, alongside the work of Judith Butler and Alain Badiou. Page duBois establishes a daring agenda for the next generation of Classicists and, for both the intimate friend of Greek texts and the freshly arrived reader, makes ancient Greeks new.
This is a book that should be in the hands of every classicist and serious student of civilization -- 'Western' or otherwise.
Page duBois' fascinating new book seeks to push beyond the traditional boundaries of the discipline (still) called 'Classics.' It is an exceptionally learned and sophisticated piece of work.
If we are now part of an increasingly global culture, it behooves us to see Greek and Roman civilizations in a globalist light. DuBois calls on classical specialists to be tolerant of the inadequate grasp "crucial, influential, contemporary theorists" may have of ancient languages and technical scholarship, and to be open to their perspectives on the past, including their productive misreadings. And she demonstrates to all readers, without using mathemes, the important insights to be gained by such new ways of looking at classical culture and history.
- 256 pages
- 5-13/16 x 9 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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