In the seventh and final interview recorded at the 2013 Classical Association meeting, CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks to Associate Professor Brooke Holmes of Princeton University. Brooke tells us about her current research project which examines the classical world’s conception of ‘sympathy’. She explains how in antiquity ‘sympathy’ was a concept used in the study of nature, rather than simply an interpersonal phenomenon. Modern ecological concerns are prompting us to re-examine ancient models for creating communities involving both humans and non-humans.
Brooke tells us about the links between her current project and her examination of the concept of the body in antiquity, the subject of her first book The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece (Princeton University Press 2010). In the fifth century BCE, the sôma (body) came to be conceptualised not just as part of the self but as something ‘other’, not ‘you’, contributing to the emergence of the concept of the psychê (soul) as the ‘real’ self. The dualism between body and soul has continued to shape both the way we think about and the way we relate to our physical bodies.
Brooke also talks to us about Gender: Antiquity and its Legacy (I.B. Tauris 2012), her contribution to the Ancients and Moderns series edited by Professor Phiroze Vasunia in which she explored Greco-Roman ideas about gender and their impact in the modern world.
Finally, Brooke shares with us her love of ancient literature and returns to the subject of the ancient concept of sympathy and her current examination of the pathetic fallacy in pastoral poetry.
Click on the image below or follow this link to our YouTube channel to watch the interview!