Kyklos 2023

The Greek Epic Cycle and the Odyssey

Date: June 23, 2023
Starting times: 6:00 AM MDT, 7:00 AM CDT, 8:00 AM EDT, 9:00 AM BRT, 1:00 PM BST, 2:00 PM CEST, 3:00 PM EEST, 9:00 PM TOKYO

Kyklos is a program that represents an ever-regenerated discourse on the Greek Epic Cycle (Greek Kyklos) and it is devoted to new and developing scholarship on the subject. Read about the Kyklos logo here.

Its primary purpose is to foster a new generation of classical scholars by offering them, at an early stage in their academic careers, an opportunity to test their ideas in an international environment. The program consists of graduate students, and early career scholars, who work on aspects of the corpus of the Greek Epic Cycle, including its interface with other genres and disciplines. Once every second year the Center for Hellenic Studies hosts an online conference, during which students / early career scholars are joined to present their work. The participation of established scholars in the discipline as discussants to each participant’s paper creates a dynamic, intergenerational dialogue. Records of these dialogues have been published as biennial issues of Classics@21. 

Find the program schedule below.


About the Director and Guest Co-Director

Efimia Karakantza is a Professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the University of Patras, Greece, and an Associate in Hellenic Studies at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC (Harvard University), for which she directs the Kyklos project since 2012. She has been trained at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece (BA 1986), the University of Reading, UK (Ph.D. 1993), the Centre Louis Gernet, Paris (visiting researcher 1991), and the University of Texas at Austin (postdoctoral research 1996). She has widely published on approaches to Greek myths, and the Homeric, lyric, and dramatic poetry, and on the Reception of ancient Greek drama in critical thinking and the performative arts. Her recent focus is on meta-feminist and political readings of ancient Greek literature, mainly Greek tragedy (Sophocles in particular). Her book: ‘Who Am I? (Mis)Identity and the Polis in Oedipus Tyrannus, Hellenic Studies Series 86, Harvard University Press 2020, explores issues of identity and citizenship in the ancient polis. Her latest book on Antigone is published (2023) by Routledge in the series: Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World. Finally, her scheduled project as co-editor is titled Ancient Necropolitics. Maltreating the living, and abusing the dead in Greek Antiquity (under contract with Brill).  

Justin Arft is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Tennessee. His primary research interests include Homeric epic, oral poetics, and the Greek Epic Cycle. He has authored and co-authored articles on comparative epic cycles, Theban tradition in epic, the Telegony tradition, and the composition, structure, and themes of archaic Greek epic. His primary interests in the Greek Epic Cycle emerge from larger questions about the nature of the Homeric epics themselves, especially the question of how they interact with tradition and the roles that orality, textuality, and literacy may or may not have played in the formation of the epics as we have them. His most recent work, Arete and the Odyssey’s Poetics of Interrogation: The Queen and Her Question (Oxford, 2022), combines these questions and interests to investigate the role of the enigmatic Phaeacian queen, Arete, in the Odyssey’s structure and poetics. In short, Arete is at the heart of an epic-scale “poetics of interrogation” used throughout the Odyssey to negotiate Odysseus’ kleos, or epic renown, further adding to what we know about the Odyssey’s relationship to ancient Greek performance traditions and comparative bodies of oral and oral-derived pieces of literature.