Ralph Rosen on Greek Comedy and Popular Culture at Swarthmore

Penn's Ralph Rosen will deliver the Annual Martin Ostwald Lecture at Swarthmore on October 20.


Please join us for the Annual Martin Ostwald Lecture
Tuesday, October 20, 4:30 pm, Science Center 199, Swarthmore College


Greek Comedy, Aesthetics and the Question of 'Popular Culture'
Ralph M. Rosen, Vartan Gregorian Professor of Humanities and Classical Studies,
University of Pennsylvania

Rosen will focus on the comic drama of Classical Athens, a genre often described as 'popular', and argue that the basic aesthetic and socio-cultural dynamics underlying our own theorizing of the 'popular' were also operative in strikingly similar ways in Classical antiquity. The scale of dissemination may have been different for ancient Greek poets, but the fundamental distinction between producing art for 'mass' and 'elite' audiences was very much current then as it is today.  In the case of Old Comedy, we will find that a high-brow/low-brow antithesis framed many of the aesthetic positions assumed by authors, critics and philosophers.