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What is Democracy? 28th January 2016

Poster for talk

My poster for David’s talk

David Royle addresses the question of “What is democracy?” by focusing on the lessons that can be learned from the development of democracy in fifth-century BC Athens.

Looking at the development of democracy will enable us to define and explore democracy today and consider how it may develop in the future.

Leeds City Museum, Ancient Worlds Gallery, 12:15-12:45

All welcome.

Upcoming lunchtime talks

All talks take place on the last Thursday of the month on the Ancient Worlds Gallery of Leeds City Museum from 12:15-12:45.

Upcoming talks include the following:

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26th November, Ben Greet,

Emperors and Gladiators in Django Unchained

28th January, David Royle,

“What is democracy?   – Lessons from Classical Athens”

25th February, tbc

24th March, Henry Clarke,

“Ancient and Modern Rowing”

28th April, tbc

26th May, Leonardo Constantini,

“The Decline of Magic in Late Antiquity”

30th June, Maria Haley,   “Mother of Dragons: the Displaced Princess in Greek tragedy and Game of Thrones”

Emperors and Gladiators in Django Unchained – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 26th November

My Poster for Ben's talk

My Poster for Ben’s talk

Ben Greet explores the classical influences in Quentin Tarrantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained, both those acknowledged by the director and those raised by interviewers and critics who have wondered whether he was attempting to create “an American Roman Empire” in this film.

Tarrantino has notably praised Leonardo di Caprio for turning his conception of Calvin Candie – the slave-owning plantation owner who forces slaves into fights to the the death – as a “petulant boy emperor” into a “charming” “Southern-fried Caligula”.

In pursuing this question Ben’s exploration will start with Roman emperors and broaden out from their personal activities into the areas of imperial administration and entertainment.

Leeds City Museum

Ancient Worlds Gallery

New Website Address

Classics Talks is upgrading, with immediate effect, to an address that does not include the word wordpress, although that is where the site will still be hosted. The new address should be classicstalks.com and if you are already on the email list, this should be copied over and you should still receive updates.

The upgrade will allow me to complete the upload of backlogged talks and to include images, so there will be quite a few updates in the next few weeks. Many thanks for bearing with me in the meantime.

See you on the new address shortly.

Emperors and Gladiators in Django Unchained – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 26th November

Ben Greet explores the classical influences in Quentin Tarrantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained, both those acknowledged by the director and those raised by interviewers and critics who have wondered whether he was attempting to create “an American Roman Empire” in this film.

Tarrantino has notably praised Leonardo di Caprio for turning his conception of Calvin Candie – the slave-owning plantation owner who forces slaves into fights to the the death – as a “petulant boy emperor” into a “charming” “Southern-fried Caligula”.

In pursuing this question Ben’s exploration will start with Roman emperors and broaden out from their personal activities into the areas of imperial administration and entertainment.

Leeds City Museum

Ancient Worlds Gallery

John Snow: Roman Crow – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 29th October

Ancient Worlds Gallery

Leeds City Museum

Bev Beck talks about classical underpinnings in the TV series Game of Thrones, focusing the Roman associations of the character of John Snow.

Warning: this talk contains spoilers.

(This talk was scheduled earlier in the series, but is updated for this presentation.)

Imagining the Chariot of the Sun – 500BC to AD2015 Thursday 24th September

Leeds City Museum

Ancient Worlds Gallery

12:15-12:45

Eleanor OKell shares the research behind the interactive sculpture of the Sun Chariot that will feature as part of Greek Fire (Leeds Light Night 2015). The tale of Phaethon’s ride in the sun chariot has inspired artists and designers to imagine what the sun chariot might be like. This talk explores the fruits of this inspiration with a range of examples from Greek vases to Roman sarcophagi, from Baroque ceilings to children’s book illustrations, from political cartoons to modern motor vehicles.

12:15-12:45 Thursday 27th August – The Modern Prometheus

Eleanor OKell explores the meanings and resonances of the myth of Prometheus in the modern era, taking as her title the much-discussed subtitle of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein of 1818. The talk will focus on two aspects of Promethean myth – stealing fire from the gods and playing a role in the creation of mankind – and the way these are referenced in literary fiction, film/TV and comics in ways that have become increasingly linked with both scientific endeavour and the dangers of its unconsidered use. Examples include: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series, Ridley Scott’s film Prometheus and Chris Carter’s X-Files episode, and Alan Moore’s Promethea.

The talk will take place on the Ancient Worlds Gallery (top floor) of Leeds City Museum.

12:15-12:45 Thursday 30th July – Plato’s Man of Steel

Natalie Enright and Ben Greet discuss the ancient philosophical underpinning of Superman by examining the role of Plato’s thought in the recent film, “Man of Steel”.

Ancient Worlds Gallery,

Leeds City Museum

Cancelled: Classics and Game of Thrones 12:15-12:45 Thursday 25th June

With apologies, it has been necessary to cancel the following talk due to unforeseen circumstances. The next talk will be: 12:15-12:45 Thursday 30th July when Natalie Enright and Ben Greet will be talking about “Plato’s ‘Man of Steel'”.

Ancient Worlds Gallery of Leeds City Museum

Bev Back, expert on transgression and identity in post-Augustan epic poetry and classics in Sci Fi (see Bev’s Classics in Our Lunchtimes talk on Star Wars and Classics), turns her attention to the classical references and frameworks operative in Game of Thrones, the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s books.

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