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International Masters Frontier Forum and the 3rd Chen Yinque Academic Lecture Series held in SYSU

Last updated :2018-04-25

Source: Boya (Liberal Arts) College
Written by: Boya (Liberal Arts) College
proofread by: Zhao shuya, Jin Feng

On April 18, 2018, International Masters Frontier Forum and the 3rd Chen Yinque Academic Lecture Series, organized by Center for Classical Studies of Sun Yat-sen University, Boya (Liberal Arts) College and supported by Office of International Cooperation & Exchange, was held in Swasey Hall on Guangzhou South Campus. Simon David Goldhill, the professor in Greek Literature and Culture and fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, was invited to give two lectures entitled “What is Greek Tragedy, and Why Should We Care about it?” and “The Oresteia: a Foundational Text of Western Culture” respectively on April 17 and April 18 for the 3rd Chen Yinque Academic Lecture Series.

In the opening lecture “What is Greek Tragedy, and Why Should We Care about it?”, Professor Goldhill explored how Greek tragedy could be understood in its historical context in the fifth century BCE, and what this told us about the role of public art in society. He considered how tragedy has been understood through Western culture from the Renaissance onwards, with particular reference to the Renaissance, the nineteenth century and today. He drew on his experience of working with contemporary theatres in London, as well as his knowledge as historian of theatre and culture, to explore how theatre has played a crucial role on public self-understanding. In the second lecture, he analysed one of the greatest works of Western Culture, Aeschylus' Oresteia. Referring back to the first lecture, he looked at it is context first; secondly he explored its meaning and thematic structure; finally he showed how it has played a major role in the self-understanding of Western art -- from opera to theatre to novels. In the Q&A session, Professor Goldhill won a burst of applauses by answering students’ and teachers’ questions with patience and care. About 150 faculty and students from Boya (Liberal Arts) College and other departments of Humanities attended the lectures.

Simon David Goldhill is best known for his work on Greek Tragedy. In 2009, he was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 he was appointed as the John Harvard Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Cambridge, a research position held concurrently with his chair in Greek,and a fellow of the British Academy in 2016. Currently he is a member of the Council of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Board of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, and President of the European Institutes for Advanced Study (NetIAS). His books have been translated into ten languages, and he has been profiled by newspapers in Brazil, Australia and Netherlands.