“Ere Egypt and Rome Were Born”: Native American Writing on Greco-Roman AntiquityOctober 3, 2019 at 78:30 p.m.

Time: October 3, 2019 at 78:30 p.m.
Location:Confer 127

Professor Craig Williams (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will be delivering an talk entitled "'Ere Egypt and Rome Were Born': Native American Writing on Greco-Roman Antiquity".

In the earliest surviving example of the use of European alphabetic script by a North American Indian, a Wampanoag student at Harvard College named Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk wrote a letter of thanks in 1663 to his English “benefactors,” in Latin. This complex and perhaps surprising text (which was presented the following year to King Charles II in London) begins a long story that continues to this day. In poems, novels, short stories, essays, letters, and other genres, Native North American writers have used the languages, literatures, and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome for a variety of purposes and to a range of effects, as indigenous writers in a colonial situation writing about and for their people, who have their own living antiquity. In this presentation, Professor Craig Williams will provide a selective overview of this tradition, drawing out some recurring themes, suggesting some interpretive frameworks, and considering some implications.

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