• November 5-6, 2015
  • Auditório Baesse, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, 4 andar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Behind investigations of encounters with antiquity after antiquity—whether framed as reception studies, the classical tradition, or the history of scholarship—lies the question of time. To look back self-consciously to the classical past is inevitably to evoke an idea of untimeliness. And to be a classicist, it might be thought, is to open oneself always to the charge of not being fully of one’s own time: dusty and backward-looking as much as revolutionary and staring at a brighter future. Nietzsche may be the best-known (yearning) theorist of the untimely. But untimeliness as an idea marks the crucial question of the modern subject’s relation to – and self-consciousness of – time and one’s place in history.

In “Untimeliness-Extemporaneidade” we return to the concept of “untimeliness” in relation to ways of knowing antiquity. In particular we examine the force of the timely and the untimely in interpretations of the Greco-Roman world arising within different geographical contexts, national traditions, and disciplinary formations. Is all classical knowledge, whether learned in Europe or South America, undermined by the loss of the past? Is a scholar or artist simply “of their time” and if so what explanatory force does such placement provide? What is it to be fashionable or out of date where classical knowing is concerned? How does the notion of kairos – judicious criticality – as a classical value develop against such painful and fragmented nostalgia? How does nostalgia for the classical change in contexts where the Greco-Roman past does not predominate as a source of origin or phantasmatic ideal, that is, in geographical and historical contexts where classicism is more contingent and embedded in a wealth of alternative experiences? In asking how the past speaks to the present or the present appropriates the past we are asking a question about the (un)timeliness of knowing at the juncture of different national traditions dedicated to the study of Greco-Roman antiquity.

Organized by Rosa Andújar (University College London), Maria Cecília de Miranda N. Coelho (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), and Brooke Holmes (Princeton University)

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Thursday, November 5



Tim Whitmarsh (University of Cambridge)
“Quantum Classics”

Response: Fernando Puente (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)


Sandra Lucia Rodrigues da Rocha (Universidade de Brasilia)
“Sounds and Images of Ancient Greece in Haroldo de Campos’ Poetry”

Response: Christian Werner (Universidade de São Paulo)



Mathura Umachandran (Princeton University)
“Siren Song, Siren Silence: Thinking Odyssean Untimeliness with Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin”

Response: Celso Vieira (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)


Fernando Santoro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
“Greek Fragments in Concrect Poetry”

Response: Ella Haselswerdt (Princeton University)



Isabella Tardin Cardoso (Universidade de Campinas)
“Ephemera: Philology and Time”

Response: Brooke Holmes (Princeton University)

General Discussion

Dinner and Drinks

Friday, November 6


Pedro Paulo Abreu Funari (Universidade de Campinas)
“Untimeliness of Roman Presence in Brazil”

Response: Gabriele Cornelli (Universidade de Brasília)


Rodrigo Gonçalves (Universidade Federal do Paraná)
“Untimely Translations: The Ideology of Unusual Rhythms in Modern Translations of the Classics”

Response: József Krupp (Eötvös Loránd University)



Rosa Andújar (University College London)
“Late to the Party: The Mexican Ateneo Discovers la moda griega”

Response: Maria Cecília de Miranda N. Coelho (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)

Final Remarks