23 Feb 2019 11:00am - 5:30pm Room G21, Faculty of Classics, Sidgwick Avenue. NB Different venue


This event is free and open to all, but registration is essential. Spaces are strictly limited.
This event is fully book but if you would like to join the waiting list please email:  Antonia Marie Reinke at ams258@cam.ac.uk


Caroline Vout (Classics, Cambridge)
Caroline van Eck (History of Art, Cambridge)
Erika Fischer-Lichte (Theatre Studies/‘Interweaving Performance Cultures’, Berlin)
Martin Revermann (Classics/Theatre Studies, Toronto)
Peter McMurray (Ethnomusicology, Cambridge)
Rebecca Lämmle (Greek Literature, Cambridge)
Renaud Gagné (Greek Literature/Religion/CRASSH, Cambridge)
Robin Osborne (Ancient History, Cambridge)
Ross Parry (Museology, Leicester)
Sam Barrett (Early Medieval Music, Cambridge)
Sean Curran (Musicology, Cambridge)
Simon Goldhill (Greek Literature/Culture, Cambridge)

This event is a Saturday Symposium in collaboration with the ‘Re-’ Interdisciplinary Network at CRASSH and the Faculty of Classics.


Translation as Performance brings together scholars from different backgrounds for an all-day, interdisciplinary encounter to examine the history of the idea of translation as a concept that goes beyond language and the literary, and that has a special relationship to Classics, and classics, i.e. ideas of heritage, masterpieces, national identities etc. Since literary translation is so fundamental to Classics, we want to ask why the idea of translation itself has not already been more central to the discipline, and shift the focus from the objects that translation ostensibly evokes (the original, the work, the classic etc.) to the audiences involved. What else is being performed other than 'the work', for whom, when and where? Why is thinking about translation and cultural copying topical in a digital era? This may also take us to the thought that translation (as conventionally understood) is a characteristically Western way of seeing – and, if so, perhaps related to the role of the classical past in shaping specifically ‘Western' intellectual traditions.

Panels on 'Translation and Theatre', 'Translation and Visual Art' and 'Cultures of Copying' will be followed by a summing-up discussion

About the Speakers

Caroline Vout (Classics, Cambridge) – Author of Classical Art: a Life History from Antiquity to the Present (2018), Sex on Show: Seeing the Erotic in Greece and Rome (2013) and 'From the ancient world to world art' (2010), curator of Following Hercules: the Story of Classical Art at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Classical Archaeology Cambridge (2015) – https://www.classics.cam.ac.uk/directory/caroline-vout

Caroline van Eck (History of Art, Cambridge) – Author of  Art, Agency and Living Presence. From the Animated Image to the Excessive Object (2015) and 'The biography of cultures: style, objects and agency. Proposal for an interdisciplinary approach' (2015); editor of Translations of the Sublime. The Early Modern Reception and Dissemination of Longinus' Peri Hupsous in Rhetoric, the Visual Arts, Architecture and the Theatre (2012) and The Secret Lives of Art Works: Exploring the borders between art and life (2014) – https://cambridge.academia.edu/carolinevaneck

Erika Fischer-Lichte (Theatre Studies, Berlin) – Director of the 'Interweaving Performance Cultures' project at FU Berlin; author of: Tragedy’s Endurance. Performances of Greek Tragedies and Cultural Identity in Germany Since 1800 (2017), The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures: Beyond Postcolonialism (2014) and The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics (2008) – http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/en/v/interweaving-performance-cultures/about-us/board_of_directors/erika_fischer_lichte/index.html

Martin Revermann (Classics/Theatre Studies, Toronto; T.B.L. Webster Fellow 2018-19 at the Institute for Advanced Study, London) – Author of 'Bert’s Bard: (Re)Assessing Brecht’s Translation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus' (forthcoming 2018), Iconography, Performance, Reception: from the Fourth Century BCE to the Middle Ages (2008) and Beyond the Fifth Century: Interactions with Greek Tragedy (2010) – https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/historical-studies/people/revermann-martin

Peter McMurray (Ethnomusicology, Cambridge) – On 'trans-related practices that come up in music and sound studies, in addition to translation: transcription, transposition, transduction'; Assistant Curator of the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature; author of 'On Serendipity; or, Sonic Pleasures and Fleshy Archives of Sensual Ethnography' (forthcoming) and 'There Are No Oral Media?: Multisensory Perceptions of South Slavic Oral Poetry.' (forthcoming) – https://scholar.harvard.edu/mcmurray  

Rebecca Lämmle (Greek Literature, Cambridge) – Co-producer of the Cambridge Greek Play 2019; author of Poetik des Satyrspiels (2013); 'Fragmentierung des Dionysos. Performative Strategien in den Bakchen-Inszenierungen' (2009) and Literatur und Religion: Wege zu einer mythisch-rituellen Poetik bei den Griechen (2007) – https://daw.philhist.unibas.ch/de/personen/rebecca-laemmle/, https://cambridge.academia.edu/RebeccaLaemmle   

Renaud Gagné (Greek Literature/Religion, Cambridge; CRASSH/SCAS ProFutura Fellow) – Director of the History of Cross-Cultural Comparatisms project at CRASSH; editor of Regimes of Comparatism: Frameworks of Comparison in History, Religion and Anthropology (2018) and Choral Mediations in Greek Tragedy (2013); author of Ancestral Fault in Ancient Greece (2013) – http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Fellows/Profutura/Renaud_Gagne.html

Robin Osborne (Ancient History, Cambridge) – Author of The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece (2018) and The History Written on the Classical Greek Body (2011); editor of A Cultural History of Objects in Antiquity (c. 500 BCE-500 CE) (forthcoming) and Art's Agency and Art History (2007) – https://www.classics.cam.ac.uk/directory/robin-osborne

Ross Parry (Digital Museology/Leicester) – Keynote speaker ('A postdigital history of museum replicas: reclaiming the imitative, the illusory and the uncanny') at the Museum: A Culture of Digital Copies conference, organized by Museum. A Culture of Copies at Oslo/Copenhagen (https://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/research/projects/a-culture-of-copies/); editor of The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication (2019) and Museums in a Digital Age (2010); author of Re-coding the Museum: Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change (2007) and ‘The language of digital heritage: a new critical discourse for museums and technology’ (2004) – https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/museumstudies/AboutUs/people/ross-parry/Publications)

Sam Barrett (Early Medieval Music, Cambridge) – Leader of the 'Restoring Lost Songs: Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy' research project collecting restored songs (Boethius: Songs of Consolation – Metra from 11th-century Canterbury, 2018) in collaboration with the ensemble Sequentia, quote: 'The prospect of recovering the music of lost songs of the distant past is tantalising, even more so when traces survive in unfamiliar notations that cannot be fully reconstructed.' – https://boethius.mus.cam.ac.uk/

Sean Curran (Musicology, Cambridge) – Researching the history of polyphonic song and music manuscripts; author of Voices from the Archive: Old Music and the Motet around 1300 CE (forthcoming), 'A Palaeographical Analysis of the Verbal Text in Montpellier 8: Problems, Implications, Opportunities' (2018) and 'Writing, Performance and Devotion in the Thirteenth-Century Motet: the “La Clayette” Manuscript' (2015) – https://www.mus.cam.ac.uk/directory/sean-curran

Simon Goldhill (Greek Literature/Culture, Cambridge) – Director of CRASSH 2011-2018; director of the Religious Diversity and the Secular University project at CRASSH; editor of Regimes of Comparatism: Frameworks of Comparison in History, Religion and Anthropology (2018); author of Sophocles and the Language of Tragedy (2012) and Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity: Art, Opera, Fiction, and the Proclamation of Modernity (2011) – http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/people/profile/simon-goldhill


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Part of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (CIPN) series
Administrative assistance: networks@crassh.cam.ac.uk








Translating for, in and by Performance. Reflections on the Politics and Philosophy of Translation by Erika Fischer-Lichte (Theatre Studies, Berlin)

Martin Revermann (Classics/Theatre Studies, Toronto) and
Simon Goldhill (Greek Literature/Culture)

Rebecca Laemmle (Greek Literature)


Lunch Break



Caroline Van Eck (History of Art)
Caroline Vout (Classics)
Robin Osborne (Ancient History)

Sean Curran (Musicology)


Tea break



Renaud Gagné (Greek Literature/Religion/CRASSH)
Peter McMurray (Ethnomusicology)
Sam Barrett (Medieval Music)

Ross Parry (Museology, Leicester)



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