Penn Public Lectures on Classical Antiquity and the Contemporary World

Announcing a Major New Lecture Series


The Penn Public Lectures on Classical Antiquity and the Contemporary World aim to reimagine the discipline of Classical Studies.  They will be delivered by visionary scholars of ancient Greece and Rome speakers who will present public lectures, visit classes, run workshops, and contribute to the life of the department during their residence.

Some elements of ancient Greek and Roman cultures find echoes, and often deliberate citation, in U.S. politics, architecture, education, and culture. History can be traced with greater and lesser degrees of analytical responsibility, and in ways that sometimes enable and sometimes impede a reach toward social justice. A renewed engagement with antiquity will invigorate conversation on urgent topics of the day including race, gender, freedom, empire, the uses of violence, the contours of personal and national identities, interactions between nature and culture, popular sovereignty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We aim for the series to bring wider publics into the dialogue between past and present, and deepen insight into the modes by which producers of culture fashion the present out of what precedes it.

The Penn Public Lectures will mobilize the benefits to the public good in the United States of a lively, rigorous, and timely engagement with the classical past.


Inaugural Speaker

Joy Connolly

President, American Council of Learned Societies

Public Lectures for 2021

November 11, 16, 18, 5pm, Penn Museum

Registration information will be available here this summer