The “Problematics of Culture and Theory” Seminar, held by the School of English of Aristotle University, will be hosting an online talk by Eileen M. Hunt (Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame), on Wednesday 24 November, 3:00pm. The title of her paper is: “We are the plague: Mary Shelley’s Translation of Oedipus Rex.”
The “Problematics of Culture and Theory” talks are open to the academic staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students of the School of English as well to the wider public.
The talk will take place through Zoom, and the relevant link will be sent by email (one day before the talk) to those who submit the registration form.
Please find the abstract of the paper and a short bio of the speaker below.
Dr Ε. Botonaki and Dr L. Roupakia
Problematics Seminar Coordinators
By grappling with the Greek of Oedipus Rex, half a century before Sigmund Freud, Mary Shelley saw that the human passions—if unchecked—acted as pollutants that caused a plague of tragic conflicts to suffocate the surrounding community. As she worked on her translations of Sophocles (c. 1820-39), kept her private “Journal of Sorrow” (1822-24), and composed and published her own novelistic contribution to plague literature (1824-26), Shelley learned not to myopically fix on blaming her dead husband Percy for their family’s many woes. She would learn to see that social and political tragedies were made by each of our egos, in the collectivity of a “we.” And this would become the resounding Sophoclean theme of her post-apocalyptic pandemic novel, The Last Man (1826), which dramatized the problem of interpersonal conflict on a global scale with a war-driven international epidemic that nearly wipes out humanity.
Eileen M. Hunt is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author or editor of nine books, including Mary Shelley and the Rights of the Child (2017) and Artificial Life After Frankenstein (2020). She is working on the concluding volume in this trilogy on Mary Shelley and political philosophy for Penn Press, The Specter of Pandemic: Mary Shelley and Post-Apocalyptic Political Thought.
Now available from Penn Press: ARTIFICIAL LIFE AFTER FRANKENSTEIN (2020).
Now available from Bloomsbury Philosophy: PORTRAITS OF WOLLSTONECRAFT (2021).
In The TLS: Journals of Sorrow, Dracula’s Daughter, and Everything an Allusion