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CANES Lecture: “Aphrodite’s Shame: Homer, Sappho, and Eve Sedgwick”

March 16, 2021 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

March 16: Melissa Mueller (University of Massachusetts)
“Aphrodite’s Shame: Homer, Sappho, and Eve Sedgwick”

Abstract: Traditional critique, including intertextuality, examines relations of power, competition, and mastery. With its focus on the body, affect, and sensations both inside and outside the text, reparative reading (developed initially by Eve Sedgwick in dialogue with Melanie Klein’s notion of the reparative) encourages attentiveness to moments of shame, weakness, and vulnerability. In this talk, I sketch a reparative approach to Sappho and suggest that Sappho’s Aphrodite emerges from the traumatized (but also cruel) Aphrodite of Iliad 3 and Iliad 5. The Homeric goddess’s experiences of both shaming and being shamed are key to understanding the Aphrodite of Sappho’s lyrics and exemplify the generative force of negative emotions.

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 994 3191 9317
Passcode: 68989