Empire of Eloquence: The Classical Tradition in the Early Modern Hispanic World

  • Monday, March 8, 2021 • 6:00 pm
  • Virtual Meeting on Zoom

A virtual talk by Professor Stuart M. McManus, Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern World History, Chinese University of Hong Kong

How did ancient Mediterranean rhetoric, law and culture shape life in the early modern Hispanic world? To answer this question, this talk will explore the role of the classical tradition in structuring and disseminating Hispanic discourses on empire, slavery and Christian missions with a particular focus on the ways ancient literary forms and civic practices (from the epigram to Ciceronian public speaking) were then appropriated by ethnically Iberian, indigenous and African students of antiquity to carve out a place for themselves within this hierarchical global space. By taking a global and intersectional approach to classical reception studies, this talk makes the case that the global impact of Greece and Rome cannot be understood without reference to historically-specific constructions of race, gender and class.

Stuart M. McManus is a Latinist and scholar of the classical tradition in global and multiethnic context, with a particular focus on the reception of ancient Mediterranean culture in Latin America, Asia, Africa and among people of color in the United States. He has also published on Roman law, slavery, indigenous-language philology and contemporary Latinx culture. These interests form part of a larger intellectual project to uncover the complex role played by Greco-Roman Antiquity in non-western contexts and to engage students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the field. He received a PhD in history and classical philology from Harvard University.  McManus is also an Affiliate Scholar of the Center for Transnational and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law.

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