William Ritchie Memorial Lecture | Elizabeth Minchin | Thanking, Apologizing, Bragging, and Blaming: Social Interaction in Homer’s “Iliad” – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences William Ritchie Memorial Lecture | Elizabeth Minchin | Thanking, Apologizing, Bragging, and Blaming: Social Interaction in Homer’s “Iliad” – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

William Ritchie Memorial Lecture | Elizabeth Minchin | Thanking, Apologizing, Bragging, and Blaming: Social Interaction in Homer’s “Iliad”

Thanking, Apologizing, Bragging, and Blaming: Social Interaction in Homer’s Iliad

Elizabeth Minchin | Australian National University
 

There has been a recent interest in social psychology in the choices that we in the everyday world make as we communicate with others — particularly with regard to the way in which we wish to be perceived by those around us. Do we wish to communicate competence? Or do we adjust our speech in order to communicate warmth?

Psychological studies indicate that there is a significant trade-off between bragging and blaming on the one hand and thanking and apologizing on the other: speakers may boast and blame in order to enhance perceptions of their competence, but they do so at a marked cost to perceptions of warmth.

Anticipating the psychologists, the oral tradition that Homer represents had already intuited these interrelated patterns of social behaviour. And Homer, for one, understood how this tension between the projection of competence or of warmth might productively underpin his development of individual characters as he composed his tales.

In this talk I shall explore how these communicative choices are rendered in the action of the Iliad — and to what productive end — with reference to a selection of Homer’s leading heroes. I shall observe these heroes uniformly performing competence in their interactions with their opponents, as we would expect, and I shall show how the poet individualizes his heroes, as they interact with their peers.

Elizabeth Minchin is Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Classical Studies at the ANU, where she taught Ancient Greek and Latin language and literature and Ancient History for many years. The focus of her research has been the Homeric epics; her particular interest has been in what the poems themselves can tell us about how the poet used his memory in their composition and in how his audience members, whether as listeners or, subsequently, readers, have been required to use their memories as they follow the action. She has published two books, Homer and the Resources of Memory (OUP 2001) and Homeric Voices: Discourse, Memory, Gender (OUP 2007) and numerous articles and book chapters.

Where
On Zoom

When

Tuesday October 12, 2021

Registration

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About the William Ritchie Memorial Lecture

Established in 2008 and held every two years, the William Ritchie Memorial Lecture invites a leading scholar of Hellenic antiquity to visit the University of Sydney every two years to deliver a public lecture in memory of the life and work of the late William Ritchie. Bill Ritchie was a devoted teacher and scholar of Classical Greek at the University of Sydney from 1955 until his death in July 2004. He was Professor of Classical Greek from 1965 to 1991.

Established in 2008 and held every two years, the William Ritchie Memorial Lecture invites a leading scholar of Hellenic antiquity to visit the University of Sydney every two years to deliver a public lecture in memory of the life and work of the late William Ritchie.

Bill Ritchie was a devoted teacher and scholar of Classical Greek at the University of Sydney from 1955 until his death in July 2004. He was Professor of Classical Greek from 1965 to 1991.

 

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).

Image: Michael Martin Drölling (French) ‘Scene from the Iliad’, 1815, Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This image is in the public domain.

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Date

Oct 12 2021
Expired!

Time

AEDT. UTC/GMT +10
6:00 pm

Location

Online

Organizer

Department of Classics and Ancient History
Website
http:// sydney.edu.au/arts/classics-ancient-history 
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