15 Apr 2021 5:00pm - 6:30pm Online via Zoom


The popularity of the political philosopher Leo Strauss among a group of Chinese public-facing academics has been noted with bemusement in the West. This lecture takes a deeper look at just why it had to be Strauss. Part of the answer is that his relationship to antiquity resonated with a China no longer seeking to imitate the West; another part lies in his reading of Plato. The Chinese Straussians claim that their readings of western texts are not ideological because Strauss’s views cannot be boiled down to an ‘ism’, but of course their use of Strauss’s methodologies and political views would suggest otherwise. In keeping so high a public profile, however, these neo-Straussians undermine the very tensions they claim to expose, suggesting that the overarching rationale for their writings is pro-Xi nationalism.

Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer is the founding Director of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago, and the Helen A Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Classics. She has authored and edited some twelve books on ancient literature, politics, and culture in the early Roman empire. Bartsch’s new translation of Vergil’s Aeneid is has just been issued by Random House, and her book on the contemporary Chinese reception of the classics is forthcoming from Princeton University Press in 2022.  Bartsch has been a Guggenheim fellow, edits the journal KNOW, and has held visiting scholar positions in St. Andrews, Taipei, and Rome.

Attendance is free but spaces may be limited, so please email to reserve a space in the Zoom audience. Please be aware that we will take a recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience.

Want to share this event? Download a poster here.


gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.


15 April 2021

Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer (University of Chicago) – Strauss in Beijing

13 May 2021

Karen Sayer (Leeds Trinity University) – The View from the Land, 1947-1981: ‘Modernity’ in British Agriculture, Farm, Nation and Community

27 May 2021

Patricia Owens (University of Oxford) – Women’s International Thought: Toward a New Canon?

2 June 2021

Tahu Kukutai (University of Waikato) – Indigenous Data Sovereignty

9 June 2021

Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin) – Ali al-Sharafi’s oeuvre as something other than simply local or global

16 June 2021

Karen C Pinto (Loyola University of Maryland) – Islamicate Territorial Imaginations: Maps, Birds, and Related Machinations

17 June 2021

Kalwant Bhopal (University of Bristol) – Title TBC

23 June 2021

Laleh Khalili (Queen Mary University of London) – Salvage, Service, or Militancy: Missions, unions, and states in maritime Arab world

9 July 2021

Sarah de Rijcke (Leiden Univeristy) – Title TBC

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