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Ovid and Postmodernism: Continuity and Change

Saturday, November 8, 2014 -
10:00am to 7:00pm
Corpus Christi College, Oxford

An Interdisciplinary Symposium

Corpus Christi College, Oxford


This conference centres on scholarly, literary, artistic and performative receptions of Ovid since the publication of Jacek Bocheński’s  Nazo poeta in 1969.

It is by now a critical commonplace to demonstrate the affinity between Ovidian and postmodern concerns: a playful insistence on the rhetorical nature of ‘reality’; on the instability of meaning; on the permeability of borders and on the arbitrariness of time. Our project takes as its starting point the appeal of Ovid’s preoccupations with desire, transition, transgression, power, violence, subversion and alienation to the cultures of the late twentieth / early twenty-first century world.  It seeks to discover what recent engagements with both the poet’s biography and his rich and varied corpus have contributed to our still-evolving conceptualizations of postmodernism.

  • How has Ovid changed the politics of classical scholarship in the last forty years?
  • What can a reception history of the postmodern Ovid tell us about the history of postmodernism itself?
  • Is Ovid just ‘play’ or does he speak seriously to politically aware (feminist, ‘minority’ and/or postcolonial) concerns about postmodern relativism and its denial of agency?

Please click here for the conference programme.

Registration: please register by sending an e-mail to Professor Stephen Harrison:

Cost: £15 to include lunch and all drinks, to be paid in cash on the day. Free of charge to currently-registered Oxford University students.

Symposium Convenors:  Tessa Roynon (English, Oxford - and Daniel Orrells (Classics, Warwick -

Image: Ovid Banished From Rome, Joseph Turner (Source: The Athenaeum

Open to all