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Classics Colloquium: Ursula Poole

  • Columbia University 603 Hamilton Hall New York, NY (map)

“Ovid the Cartographer: A Study of Place in Exile”


This project treats the subject of place in Ovid's exile poems. I argue that the poeta exclusus deliberately skews the spatial contours of his fictive universe in order to illustrate a cognitive dissonance that is endemic to the exile’s subjective experience. This topographic dysmorphia is a grim projection of the exiled subject’s addled interiority onto the site of his relegation, evincing the displacement mindset of Ovid’s carefully constructed poetic persona. The distinct ‘exilic cartography’ that can be distilled from the collection (i.e., the sustained execution of a geographic aesthetic, if you will) is peculiar to these works alone. The exile poetry is thus at its core a study in the phenomenology of trauma, of which these imaginary vistas are subtle instantiations

Later Event: November 10
CAM Lecture: Donald Haggis (UNC)