How Do Ireland’s Blasket Islands Intersect with the ‘Homeric Question in the 20th Century’
The William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies sponsors a Cultural Outreach Program this September featuring University of Houston Classics Professor and Homerist Dr. Casey Dué Hackney. She will talk about “Searching for Homer in the Blasket Islands” at 7 p.m., Sept. 29, in Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon Street. This lecture is free and open to the public.
Hackney, the executive director of the Center for Hellenic Studies at UH, will explore how the Blasket Islands off the west coast of Ireland intersected with the scholarship on the so-called Homeric Question in the 20th century. Ancient Greece and Ireland have a shared Indo-European linguistic and poetic heritage that stretches back into prehistoric eras. Still, in modern times those wishing to understand better the origins and composition of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey have looked to Ireland. The hero Cuchulainn has been called an “Irish Achilles,” but in the 20th century, a variety of scholars went to the Blaskets in search of Homer. This presentation will explain why those comparisons were made and what can be learned from them.
Hackney is the author of “Achilles Unbound: Multiformity and Tradition in the Homeric Epics” (2019) and other publications. She is the co-editor of the Homer Multitext. She earned a B.A., M.A. in Classics from Brown University and a Ph.D in Classical Philology from Harvard University. Her expertise includes Homeric poetry, Greek oral traditions, Greek tragedy and textual criticism.
Most Center for Irish Studies events are free and open to the UST community and public. Each semester, the Center offers lectures on subjects ranging from economics and politics to social views of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Irish America: and how their history and politics affect their people and relationships with other countries. In addition, the Center hosts Irish musicians and concerts and the Irish Gala each November.
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