This week kicked off with what is now widely recognised as Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You, for those who don’t speak Geek!). So I thought I’d continue the theme with some Classics/Sci-Fi links to brighten up your weekend. Do chip in, if you have other links to books and articles: all reading suggestions gratefully received…!
New readers of this blog may not have realised that I’m a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan – particularly since you can’t see my collection of Firefly t-shirts or my home-made Tardis (nope, not joking – it has lights and sound effects, and is actually bigger on the inside…!). I desperately wanted a PhD not because I longed for a career in academia, but because I wanted to be The Doctor. If your mother knitted you a Tom Baker scarf when you were a teenager, you’ll know where I’m coming from.
The beauty of Classics is that the category of ‘classicist’ overlaps quite significantly with the world of sci-fi nerds: so a lot of classicists have a secondary expertise in this area. If we were on Mastermind our first specialist subject might be Monuments of Augustan Rome: but in the final we’d be answering questions on The Geography of Tatooine.
And so we find that Classical Reception has a whole sub-genre of Sci-Fi Studies. To be honest, I tend to avoid it as much as possible, because that’s the rabbit hole I’m most likely to get sucked down. But it’s top of my list for when I run out of things I have to do…!
Here are some of the classical Star Wars links and pictures that I’ve been enjoying this week:
Star Wars as a Latin epic – In Medias Res
Star Wars Day in Rome – Wanted in Rome
Star Wars and myth – Open Learn
Star Wars and Rome – The Latin Language Blog
Star Wars archaeology – Forbes
Remembering and restoring the Republic – Classical World [for those with journal access]
You’ll also find some interesting articles on Doctor Who, Star Wars and other sci-fi on Philip Boyes’ blog, and the CREWS Project blog; and former OU tutor Tony Keen has also written some great publications in this area:
Here are some books you might enjoy, if you want to take a more academic interest in the sci-fi/Classics crossover. (By the way, if you follow the links to Amazon and buy something, Amazon gives me a few pennies. I live in hopes that someday this website might start to pay for itself, but so far I haven’t earned enough to pay for a cup of coffee!)
(reviewed by my sister here)
And from the less murky corners of the internet…
Stephen Fry on a ‘Mythos’ tour [hooray – I’ve got tickets for Gateshead!] – BBC
Antony Gormley in Greece – The Guardian
Hadrian’s Wall cartoons at Segedunum – Chronicle Live
The UK’s Tutankhamun – BBC
Lots of lovely coins – BBC
Sphinx room at the Domus Aurea – Ansa
Comment and opinion
More on the history of OU Classics, from the wonderful Janet Huskinson – OU Classical Studies
Becoming a Latin teacher – In Medias Res
Autism and myth – Institute for Classical Studies
A walk through Athens – Delphi the Philosopher
Votives from Corinth – The Votives Project
A new wave of classicists – Warwick Knowledge Centre
‘Abductions’ in art – Journal of the History of Ideas
Working class Classics – The Edithorial
Podcasts, video and other media
Latin philosophy in Byzantium – History of Philosophy
Emily Wilson’s Sebald Lecture – BCLT
Barbara Graziosi on Greek religion – Ancient Greece Declassified
Briseis: Wonder Women of Greek Mythology – Greek Mythology Retold
On being a Spartan woman – Ancient History Hound
Sign up for Ancient Health MOOC (10th June) – Future Learn
…or go along to the Minimus Latin Weekend at Vindolanda – Vindolanda
3 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Classics and Sci-Fi”
I’m not a huge fan of reception studies but if I were to pursue the reception route then this would be the way I’d go. I’ve always been a sci-fi geek, I love a bit of Star Trek (particularly Voyager & DS-9), I did have an unhealthy obsession with Stargate SG-1 & Atlantis and you don’t have to go too far in my home to find the odd light sabre! That being said I hadn’t completely appreciated just how serious this branch of reception studies was. Truth be told I’d tossed it into an imaginary box alongside ancient alien theories that would never again see the light of day! It’s certainly something worth reading about though, if only to satisfy the inner geek!
Oh and how can I forget Buffy! That’s littered with receptions of classical myth.
I reckon every classicist should be sat down and forced to watch ‘Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra’.
Don’t even get me started on Buffy! So much to have fun with there…
And while I am more of a TOS/TNG girl at heart, I never missed an episode of Voyager or DS9 (although I did cringe a bit every time they went onto the holodeck!), or SG1 (good for intrepid archaeologists, of course). Maybe that’s why I became a classicist: too much early exposure to epic tales of war and journeys home… Actually, now that I think about it, my obsession with the politics of Babylon 5 may well have fuelled my interest in Tacitus!
In my case, I’m afraid the inner geek is more outer geek… 🙂