The Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lecture

The Twenty-First Annual Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lecture

 

"A Backwards Glance to the Future: Reading Lycophron's Enigmatic Alexandra"
 

Alexander Sens 
Georgetown University


October 10, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.
The Thompson Library, room 165
1858 Neil Ave Mall
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH


The Lecture

The talk will be an overview of Lycophron's Alexandra and its literary interest and importance. Along the way, the talk will show its famous difficulty and obscurity of the poem is itself meaningful. In the course of a discussion of the way the poem engages with the literary tradition, the talk will reflect on some of the reasons that (despite being neglected by modern scholars) it was so widely read and influential in antiquity.

The Speaker

Alexander Sens (BA Brown '86, PhD Harvard '91) is the Markos and Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis Chair of Hellenic Studies at Georgetown University. His research interests lie in the poetry of the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods, and in particular how these texts engaged with the broader literary tradition. His most recent book is an edition, with commentary, of Asclepiades of Samos (Oxford University Press, 2011); he is currently finishing books on Hellenistic epigram and on Lycophron's Alexandra.

The Lecture Series

The Carl Schlam Lecture Fund was established by family, colleagues, students and friends to recognize and honor Prof. Carl C. Schlam, who taught Classics at The Ohio State University from 1967 to 1993. It commemorates Prof. Schlam's collegiality and delight in the sharing of ideas among scholars, whether privately or in larger groups. This he demonstrated by his frequent and participatory presence at lectures across the university, which he genuinely viewed as a community of scholars. He is affectionately remembered for his amazing range of intellectual interests, his kindness and helpfulness to students and colleagues, his pride in his family's accomplishments, and the joys of a good conversation.

Carl Schlam was born in New York October 23, 1936. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School, he earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at Columbia University, where he had the good fortune to work closely with Professors Moses Hadas and Gilbert Highet, whose interests, scholarship and styles influenced him greatly. While working toward his doctorate he served as instructor at Case Institute of Technology, the Monclair Academy, Barnard School for Girls, and Rutgers University, and was appointed assistant professor of Classics at The Ohio State University in 1967, a year also distinguished by his marriage to Helena Frenkil. He attained the rank of professor in 1986, having served as Visiting Professor at Haifa University in 1975-76. His death of cancer after a long illness came on December 25, 1993.

His dissertation on "The Narrative Structure of the Metamorphoses of Apuleius" was to prove the foundation of his principal research activity, resulting in two seminal works on Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche: Apuleius and the Monuments (1976), and The Metamorphoses of Apuleius: On Making an Ass of oneself (1992). His sensitive reading and careful presentation did much to encourage reevaluation of The Metamorphoses as a well-written and carefully constructed work of quality. Apuleius led to later Latin, the Italian Humanists and Neo-Latin. A skilled bibliographer, he served his fellow-scholars and the direction of Apuleian studies well with bibliographic surveys in the Classical World (1971) and Lustrum (2001, Band 42), a work splendidly augmented and seen to press by his collaborator and colleague Ellen Finkelpearl.

Professor Schlam was an active and regularly productive member of the major classical organizations: the American Philological Association, the Archeological Institute of America, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, as well as the Ohio Classical Conference, the Greater Columbus Latin Club, and the Societas Internationalist Studiis Neolatinis Provehendis. At Ohio State he was a strong supporter and participant in the activities of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He was a frequent presenter at conventions and congresses of classical, post-classical and neo-Latin groups.

Previous Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lectures

  • 2013 - Anthony J. Boyle (University of Southern California), "Mediating Medea"
  • 2012 - Susan Stephens (Stanford University), "Plato's 'Egyptian' Republic"
  • 2011 - Alan Cameran (Columbia University), "Greek Mythology on Roman Sarcophagi"
  • 2010 - Sarah Morris (University of California, Los Angeles), "Passing Children Through the Fire: Ritual Infanticide in Greece and the Near East"
  • 2009 - Alessandro Barchiesi (Università degli Studi di Siena/Arezzo and Stanford University), "Poetic Careers, Ovid to Boccaccio"
  • 2008 - Martin L. West (All Souls College, Oxford), "Odysseus Re-routed"
  • 2007 - Richard Thomas (Harvard University), "The Streets of Rome: Bob Dylan and the Classics"
  • 2006 - Walter Burkert (University of Zurich), "East and West: Ancient Variations of a Eurasian Conflict"
  • 2005 - Erich Gruen (University of California, Berkeley), "Identity Theft in the Ancient Mediterranean"
  • 2004 - Ellen Finkelpearl (Scripps College), "Toward a New Apuleius"
  • 2003 - Josiah Ober (Princeton University), "The Moral Authority of the Past: Precedent, Amnesty, and Thucydidean History"
  • 2002 - Carole Newlands (University of Wisconsin, Madison), "The 'Other' John Gower and the First English translation of Ovid's Fasti"
  • 2001 - Mark Griffith (University of California, Berkeley), "Enslaved to Dionysos: Satyrs, Audience, and Aeschylus' Proteus"
  • 2000 - Sander M. Goldberg (University of California, Los Angeles), "Cicero and the Comedians"
  • 1999 - Peter Rose (Miami University), "Theorizing Athenian Imperialism and the Athenian State: The Case of Mytilene"
  • 1998 - Duncan Kennedy (University of Bristol), "A Sense of Place: Rome, Empire, and History Revisited"
  • 1997 - Ross Kraemer (University of Pennsylvania), "Why is Asenath a Woman? Constructing Gender in an Ancient Novel"
  • 1996 - Harold Gotoff (University of Cincinnati), "Comprehending Cicero"
  • 1995 - Marilyn Katz (Connecticut Wesleyan), "Women and Democracy in Ancient Athens"
  • 1994 - David Konstan (Brown University), "Homeric Friendship"
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