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Ralph Rosen (UPenn): Accessing and Understanding Aristophanic Politics
Scholars have wrestled with ‘Aristophanes’ politics’ for decades and have drawn any number of—often-incompatible—conclusions. In this presentation, Prof. Rosen would like to take a step back to consider what it means to worry about a comic/satirical author’s ‘politics’—what we are looking for, what we hope to ‘know’, and the question of whether ‘seriousness’ (a concept far less obvious than is usually supposed) is ever actually possible in comic satire. He will offer some comparative examples from our own time to help us clarify what we are aiming for in our analyses of Aristophanic satire, how (or whether) we can ever access his politics in any meaningful manner, and whether it would matter if we could.
Ralph M. Rosen is Vartan Gregorian Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching involve many areas of Greek and Roman literature, culture and intellectual history, and his numerous books and articles focus particularly on Greco-Roman comic and satirical literary genres, ancient aesthetics, and ancient science and medicine.