Events Series: Sing in me, Muse: The Classical, the Critical, and the Creative

A Series of talks, workshops, readings, discussions on the social, political and cultural relevance of the classics to our times.

Convened by Isobel Hurst and Lucia Boldrini

Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry. Source: New York Public Library,

This series of Classical Reception Studies events, starting in Autumn 2022, will bring together scholars and students from a variety of disciplines with creative writers and other artists, to examine how the literary and material cultures of ancient Greece, the Near East and Rome have been adapted and rewritten at later times and other places.

The series will include talks, readings by creative writers, critical and creative workshops, and roundtable discussions.

Some of the events will be in person, and some online. 


Joining forces with our first CCL Annual Lecture, Marina Warner’s ‘Viral Spiral: Multiple Shape-shifting from Ovid to Covid‘, we will explore the shape-shifting of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, looking at the ways in which writers honour Ovid’s epic endeavour – ‘to spin a continuous song from the first origins of the world to my own time’ – by extending the poem’s reach to the present day, revisiting it to understand, critique and challenge their present circumstances.


For the first event in the series, on 3 November 2022, we are excited to host, in conjunction with the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre, Maltese poet Abigail Ardelle Zammit, who will read from her work and talk about her #wearedaphne project, which retells, through erasures of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. This event will be online.


Ulysses1934RandomHouse-chaptersOn 8 December 2022, just in time before the end of Ulysses’ centenary year, Sophie Corser will talk about Joyce and Homeric question. The talk, which will also be the occasion for an informal launch of Sophie’s new book, will take place in person and online.


On 2 February 2023, we look forward to Michael Simpson and Barbara Goff‘s talk ‘Votes for Medea: The British women’s suffrage movement and the classical franchise’. This event will be in person only.


On 23 March 2023 (rescheduled from 16 February due to UCU strike) we welcome Emily Hauser, whose talk ‘Recovering the Women of the Trojan War‘ will be followed by a reading from her novel For the Most Beautiful. This event will be online.


Rescheduled to 2 November 2023 (due to UCU strike action on the original date of 16 March 2023): Barbara Graziosi will speak on ‘”The chancy story of the Phoenician woman”: Reading Homer with Virginia Woolf”. This event will be online and in person.


Click on the events’ titles to find out more and register to attend. 

We look forward to meeting many of you in person or online, and to the lively discussions that all these talks will no doubt generate.

You may also be interested in our short courses on contemporary retellings of Greek myths, focusing on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

The Organisers

Isobel Hurst’s research examines the reception of Greek and Latin literature in English, looking at the connection between classical education and authorship and women writers’ creative engagement with the classical tradition. She is the author of Victorian Women Writers and the Classics: The Feminine of Homer (2006) and has published essays in the Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry (2013) and the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature (2015). Her work on contemporary women writers and the classics appears in Living Classics: Greece and Rome in Contemporary Poetry in English (2009), the Classical Receptions Journal and Homer’s Daughters: Women’s Responses to Homer in the Twentieth Century and Beyond (2019).

Lucia Boldrini is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the CCL. Her research interests include fictional biography and autobiography; Joyce, Dante and modernist medievalism; comparative literature; and literature on and from the Mediterranean area. Among her books: Autobiographies of Others: Historical Subjects and Literary Fiction (Routledge, 2012); Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations (CUP, 2001); and as editor, Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction, with Julia Novak (Palgrave, 2017). She is a member of the Academia Europaea, and President of the International Comparative Literature Association.