Oberlin College and Conservatory

Martin Lecture: Art, Activism and Ancient Fiction

Monday, October 30, 2023 at 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Norman C. Craig Lecture Hall, Science Center, N292
119 Woodland Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Helen Morales, the 2023 Martin Lecturer, will present a series of four lectures titled Art, Activism and Ancient Fiction from October 30 - November 3.  These lectures will offer bold new interpretations of the ancient texts, and claim a place for them as avant-garde works that speak to us today about redefining familial, social, and cultural relationships

The opening lecture in the series is "Re-encountering Antiquity with Harmonia Rosales".  Rosales, an Afro-Cuban American artist, creates a diffuse and at times disavowed classicism in her paintings, as she represents ancient Greek and Yoruba tales, and charts their connections to the Middle Passage, and to continued outrages in the wake of slavery. Reading ancient fiction beside Rosales’s images creates a conversation between the two of them, and me, a triangulation that promotes activist-scholarly perspectives (a break from existing scholarship on ancient fiction which is overwhelmingly historicist).

Helen Morales is the Argyropoulos Professor of Hellenic Studies at UC Santa Barbara. A classicist and cultural critic, she has a wide range of interests in the ancient world. These include the ancient novel, Greek imperial poetry, mythology, literary criticism, sexual ethics, diversity, and pilgrimage. These interests are always connected to major contemporary concerns – leadership, class, race, sexual politics, aesthetics, law – a better understanding of which, in her view, comes through appreciating their investment in the classical antiquity. Helen received her PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Opening Night reception immediately following the lecture in the Craig Upper Lounge.  Light refreshments will be served.

Event Type



Academic, Classics




Free and open to the public

Photo Alternate Text

Photo of Helen Morales

Contact Person

Kirk Ormand

Contact Phone Number


Contact E-mail Address


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