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Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome

The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome was set up in 2007 in recognition of the continuing vitality of all aspects of classical antiquity right up to the present day. The Centre brings together interests among members of staff and postgraduate students in many departments and disciplines across Royal Holloway. The Centre’s focus is on the political, philosophical and literary bridges between the contemporary world and Mediterranean antiquity. The Centre also acts as a platform for the development of new individual, collaborative, and interdisciplinary projects.

Thinking about the heritage of Greece and Roman has been constitutive of virtually every area of modern life: literature, drama, political theory, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, art, music, architecture, the military, government, gender, gay rights, post-colonialism, civil rights, medicine, engineering, entertainment, theatre, cinema and sport.

The Centre has sponsored the publication of many books, including, recently Reading Ancient Slavery(eds. R. Alston, E. Hall and L. Parfitt),  Ancient Slavery and Abolition (eds. R. Alston, E. Hall and J. McConnell), Antiquity and the Ruin (ed. A. Kahane), India and the Classics (ed. E. Hall and P. Vasunia).

There have been a string of research events (discussions of modern painter Cy Twombly and Antiquity, on Chaos, Complexity and Classical Literature, readings by poet and playwright Tony Harrison (Artist in Residence, RHUL, 2011), a conference on Civilisational Collapse at the British Library, a conference Eight Years in Babylon: The Iraq War and the Classics, convened by Katie Billotie, Classics and Class (at the British Academy), Ancient Aesthetics and Social Class, convened by Edith Hall and William Fitzgerald, a conference on Antiquity and the Ruin in Paris (Ahuvia Kahane) The Classics and France (Richard Alston and John O’Brien), Derrida and the Classics (Richard Alston and Efi Spentzou), Psychogeographies in Latin Literature (Efi Spentzou),  Classics and New Faces of Feminism (Efi Spentzou), Poetics of War, and Women Writing the Classics.

New projects include work on Modern visual Art and Ancient Texts (Kahane)  the Modern Greek novel and the Classical tradition (Spentzou), and The City in the City (Alston), Contemporary Political Theory and the Classical (Kahane), Hellenism and Judaism in modernity (Kahane), Antiquity and Photography (Kamash). 

Several members of staff have interests in Classical Reception (Alston, Gloyn, Hawley, Kahane, Kamash, Lowe, and Spentzou; see the staff page). Interests range from political and literary philosophy, urbanism, literary receptions, science fictions, and popular culture.  

The Centre's Directors are Richard AlstonEfi Spentzou and Ahuvia Kahane. The centre hosts many of our current graduate students whose work is associated with the reception of the classical world. The Centre offers a Masters by Research in Classical Reception.

In Autumn 2015, we will be running a series of lunchtime seminars




ISOS – The Institute for the Study of Slavery (University of Nottingham) 

CRSN – Classical Reception Studies Network


APGRD – The Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama (University of Oxford)



CTI – Classical Traditions Initiative (Northwestern University)



Institute of Greece, Rome and The Classical Tradition (University of Bristol)


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