Theory for Classics: A Student's Guide

Theory for Classics: A Student's Guide

Louise Hitchcock

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0415454980

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This student's guide is a clear and concise handbook to the key connections between Classical Studies and critical theory in the twentieth century. Louise Hitchcock looks at the way Classics has been engaged across a number of disciplines. 

Beginning with four foundational figures – Freud, Marx, Nietzshe and Saussure – Hitchcock goes on to provide guided introductions of the major theoretical thinkers of the past century, from Adorno to Williams. Each entry offers biographical, theoretical and bibliographical information along with a discussion of each figure's relevance to Classical Studies and suggestions for future research. 

Theory for Classics, adapted from Theory for Religious Studies, by William E. Deal and Timothy K. Beal, is a brisk, thoughtful, provocative, and engaging title, which will be an essential first volume for anyone interested in the intersection between theory and classical studies today.


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Dostoevsky), drawing in multiple voices without subordinating them to any one voice, creating a space of interplay in which the reader becomes a participant who must negotiate among these voices. Another Bakhtinian concept that has gained much attention from scholars in a wide range of disciplines is carnival, an idea discussed in Rabelais Mikhail Bakhtin 53 and His World. Carnivals are playful subversions of the established social and political order of things, which might otherwise appear

direction for further study. As readers move beyond the introductions to the primary texts, it is my hope that they will develop a more complex and subtle understanding of the necessity of theory for the study of classics. Further reading Branham, R. Bracht, Glenn W. Most, Ralph Hexter, Giulia Sissa, Daniel Selden, Page duBois, and W. R. Johnson. “Panel Discussion: Classics and Comparative Literature: Agenda for the, 90s.” Classical Philology. 92.2 (1997) 153–88. Gold, Barbara K. “Teaching

transformative of it, because there are always aspects of oneself that are “socially impossible,” that cannot be reduced to the order of things, that exceed any particular identity within that order. Hence her serious interest in drag, cross-dressing, and other forms of gender trouble. As she states in Bodies that Matter (pp. 125, 139), “drag is a site of a certain ambivalence, one which reflects the more general situation of being implicated in the regimes of power by which one is constituted.”

may be constructed as a “hinge” [brisure] between literature and philosophy so as to suspend any sense of an impervious border between two disciplines founded on “writing.” All of these meanings remain in play in this and in Derrida’s other texts as puns, which enhance the performative aspect of his work, but which are frequently lost in the English translations. The argument Derrida performs in Glas stems from his discussion of speech and writing in his earlier work, especially Of Grammatology.

to the practice of documenting the past (text or objects) is interpretive, as well as historically and culturally situated. 136 The Theorists Despite being a philosopher and philologist, Gadamer frequently applied his theory of hermeneutics to the study of religious myths and scriptures (see, for instance, the essays collected in Hermeneutics, Religion, and Ethics). Late in life, at 92, he made a particularly significant contribution to a small symposium on religion organized by the

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