“A good history will have to show how traditions taught each other” – Interview with Constanze Güthenke and Anthony Grafton
What does it mean to understand the pre-modern past in a globalized perspective? How can we open the traditional canon? What does the concept of Globalizing Classics mean for the academic disciplines and for a future curriculum? How can we theorize philologies as an attitude and a practice?
Constanze Güthenke, Professor of Greek Literature at the University of Oxford, and Anthony Grafton, Professor of History at Princeton University, speak about these and other questions with Colin Guthrie King, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Providence College and one of the initiators of the month summer school Globalized Classics. Their conversation took place August, 21 2015 at the Classics Department of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Constanze Güthenke is Associate Professor of Greek Literature at the University of Oxford and E.P. Warren Praelector at Corpus Christi College, where she recently moved after twelve years of teaching Classics at Princeton University. Her main research interests lie in the field of antiquity after antiquity. She has published on the cultural and literary history of comparative European Hellenism, on the history of philological practices, and on questions of the disciplinary shape of Classics: why, and how, do classicists ask the questions they ask? Her current book project, entitled Studying Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Classical Scholarship and the Language of Attachment, 1790-1920 (Cambridge UP, forthcoming) is a look at the rhetorical strategies and organizing metaphors of German classical scholarship. In the future she intends to continue work on the transnational aspects of scholarship, asking what happens to classical knowledge when it migrates between places and contexts. She is also the general editor of the /Classical Reception Journal/, published by Oxford University Press.
Anthony Grafton (1950) studied history, classics and history of science at the University of Chicago and University College London, where he worked with Arnaldo Momigliano. In 1974-75 he taught history at Cornell University; since 1975 he has taught at Princeton University. He specializes in the history of scholarship and historiography and the history of reading. Grafton’s books include Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford, 1983-93); Defenders of the Text (Harvard, 1991); The Footnote: A Curious History (Harvard, 1997); (with Megan Williams) Christianity and the Transformation of the Book (Harvard, 2006); (with Glenn Most and Salvatore Settis) The Classical Tradition (Harvard, 2010); and (with Joanna Weinberg) “I Have Always Loved the Holy Tongue.” Isaac Casaubon, the Jews, and A Forgotten Chapter in Renaissance Scholarship (Harvard, 2011). He is currently writing a history of the study of early Christianity in early modern Europe.
Globalized Classics is a one month summer school at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The project brings 54 early career scholars from around the world together with 13 seniors scholars from several Classical disciplines. It includes a seminar on the methodology of the study of pre-modern antiquity as well several intensive and comparative graduate seminars. The seminars range in theme and disciplines from Sinology and Classical philology, the history of Islamic and Christian art, the global history of empires, the Rigveda and its commentary tradition, and the study of the history of ancient medicine. A concluding conference, Globalizing Classics, takes place September 4-5, 2015 and is open to the public. Please find more information about the summer school and conference here.