When Worlds Elide: Classics, Politics, Culture (Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches Series)

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $107.50
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $107.50   
  • New (3) from $107.50   


For better or worse, the ancient Greeks retain their cultural, political, and philosophical authority for contemporary educators and actors. Maureen Dowd has talked about the Hellenization of the Bush administration, Thucydides has been used as a template to analyze the Iraqi War and the War on Terror, Greek drama has been repeatedly performed in sometimes spectacular if unconventional ways, while the Trojan War, the battle of Thermopylae, the Spartans, and Alexander have all been the subjects of recent films. Last year the New York Times carried a front page story about "conservatives" taking a "new tack" by establishing "beachheads" for programs in Western Civilization and American Institutions in which the ancient Greeks hold pride of place. The contributors to When Worlds Elide are also invested in having Greek philosophy, literature, and political theory taken seriously in contemporary debates-whether over modes of interpreting Plato, Athenian democracy, gender, ethnicity, or materiality. What distinguishes this book is the substantive range of the essays in it and the generative potentialities of "using" ancient authors and events in analyzing these debates. It begins from the premise that "the Greeks" (like "the French" or "the Chinese") obscures the contested histories of ethnic, geographic, and political formations in favor of an idealized dehistoricized collectivity. The also book also illustrates the ways in which ancient texts must be understood within the history of interpretative practices, which means that "the Greeks" are more a moving target than a stable entity, and that each generation of interlocutors formulates continually transforming questions, readings, and arguments. Finally, this book supposes that an interrogation of "the Greek legacy" depends on interdisciplinary work where interdisciplinarity functions as a verb-that is, something that is always in the process of being achieved.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Richard P. Martin
Anyone who has doubted the value of antiquity for the twenty-first century will come away from this book a true believer in the relevance of classics to the most pressing contemporary concerns. Far from offering easy solutions or facile analogies, When Worlds Elide boldly critiques classics itself in relation to nationalism, elites, material culture, and the structure of the university. This is a must-read resource—lucid, complex and exciting—for those interested in abiding questions: What makes a community? Who should lead? What is ethical? How do we reconcile money and political ambition?
Josiah Ober
This exciting collection, with its stellar list of contributors, sets a bold agenda for the interdisciplinary study of classics and politics in the twenty-first century. It proves that it is indeed possible to conjoin theoretical insight with erudition and a passionate commitment to the enduring significance of Greek antiquity.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

J. Peter Euben is research professor of political science and classical studies and Kenan Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Ethics at Duke University. Karen Bassi is professor of classics in Clowell College at University of California Santa Cruz.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part One: Classics Chapter 3 Chapter 1. Origins, Culture, and Identity in Classical Antiquity Chapter 4 Chapter 2. Greece of the East: Philhellenism in Imperial Japan Chapter 5 Chapter 3. Philhellenism, Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism Chapter 6 Chapter 4.The Materiality of Classical Studies Part 7 Part Two: Politics Chapter 8 Chapter 5. Making Prometheus Speak: Dialogue, Torture, and the Power of Secrets in Prometheus Bound Chapter 9 Chapter 6. For Love of the Impossible: Antigone, Memory, and the Politics of Possibility Chapter 10 Chapter 7. Athens' Tale of Two Cities: Themistocles, Theseus, and the Construction of "Place" in Fifth-Century Athens Chapter 11 Chapter 8. Thucydides in Baghdad Chapter 12 Chapter 9. Before Race: Theorizing Athenian Citizen Identity Chapter 13 Chapter 10. Comedy, the Ordinary Citizen, and the Salvation of the City Part 14 Part Three: Culture Chapter 15 Chapter 11. Gender and the City: Antigone from Hegel to Butler and Back Chapter 16 Chapter 12. The Comparative Politics of Travel: Theôria, Talab al-'Ilm and the Search for Knowledge Chapter 17 Chapter 13. Socrates, Palamedes, and the Trials of Philosophy Chapter 18 Chapter 14. Body, Soul, and Medical Analogy in Plato Chapter 19 Chapter 15. Men completely wild in appearance and way oflife: Fauns, Satyrs, Androgynes, Ichtyophages, Hippopodes, Sciopodes, Himantipodes, [and] Cyclopes Chapter 20 Chapter 16. Suppliant Women and the Democratic State: White Men Saving Brown Women from Brown Men

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)