Antiquities Beyond Humanism

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 05/21/2019
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Greco-Roman antiquity is often presumed to provide the very paradigm of humanism from the Renaissance to the present. This paradigm has been increasingly challenged by new theoretical currents such as posthumanism and the "new materialisms", which point toward entities, forces, and systems that pass through and beyond the human and dislodge it from its primacy as the measure of things.

Antiquities beyond Humanism?seeks to explode the presumed dichotomy between the ancient tradition and the twenty-first century "turn" by exploring the myriad ways in which Greek and Roman philosophy and literature can be understood as foregrounding the non-human. Greek philosophy in particular is filled with metaphysical explanations of the cosmos grounded in observations of the natural world, while other areas of ancient humanistic inquiry - poetry, political theory, medicine - extend into the realms of plant, animal, and even stone life, continually throwing into question the ontological status of living and non-living beings. By casting the ancient non-human or more-than-human in a new light in relation to contemporary questions of gender, ecological networks and non-human communities, voice, eros, and the ethics and the politics of posthumanism, the volume demonstrates that encounters with ancient texts, experienced as both familiar and strange, can help forge new understandings of life, whether understood as physical, psychical, divine, or cosmic.

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