Undergraduate Classics Conference

With the invaluable assistance of a stalwart band of Classics students, the Miami University Department of Classics presented the 15th Annual Classics Conference, March 12, 2016. Presentations were given by a number of our own students, as well as visitors from Ohio University, Xavier University, and the Universities of Michigan and Utah. A highlight was a short excerpt from Aristophanes’ Lysistrata performed by students from Roanoke College and a stellar, if impromptu, cameo by our own Spencer Aitken as Kinesias. Miami students who presented their work were Spencer Aitken, Kelsey Kirpatrick, Mark Kizer, Cat Looby, Kate Melberg, Mackenzie Solomon, and Eleni Vidalis.

The conference keynote lecture, “Sexualized Violence: The Eurymedon Vase in Context,” was given by Professor Kirk Ormand of Oberlin College. Dr. Ormand, who is an expert on gender and sexuality in Greek literature, has written on a wide range of Greek literature from epic to tragedy to the ancient Greek novel. His focus in this lecture was an enigmatic vase-painting which appears to show a Persian soldier about to be sexually assaulted by a Greek soldier.  Examining the ways the threat of sexual violence portrays the barbarian Persian enemy as weak and effeminate,, Ormand also considered other interpretations of this vase, which has long been the object of scholarly debate.