Recording of Emma Pauly’s Bacchae at Rhetoric & Poetics Nov 19th 2020

Recording (w/ Screen Captions)

Closed Captioning by Larry Eames.

Archival Info

The performance was preceded by an Introduction by Emma (included in the video above) and followed by a 45-min discussion with some members of the cast and select audience members (not included).


A young person returns to their hometown for the first time in a long time, hoping to find acceptance. When they find the opposite, tempers flare, consequences ensue, and identities are questioned, changed, and dissolved. This translation of Bacchae centers a non-binary/gender non-conforming reading of Dionysus and roots itself in the worlds of gender, grief, and the family unit.

Directed & Translated by Emma Pauly

Cast List

Dionysus: Sarah “Sam” Saltiel

Pentheus: Claudio Sansone

Agave: Samantha Fenno

Kadmos: Lynn Fitzgerald

Tiresias: Eric Q. Vanderwall

Chorus Leader: Sally Rose Zuckert

First Messenger/Chorus: Hannah Halpern

Second Messenger/Chorus: Amber Ace

Soldier/Chorus: Jack Chelgren

Performance Poster

Simonides’ Danae Fragment in a new version by Don Harmon

In our first meeting of the Lyric Spaces reading group (now suspended due to COVID-19) we read Simonides’ Danae Fragment (543 Page). See this handout from Aoidoi for the Greek text with lots of helpful notes.

Don Harmon has since produced the following translation–hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Simonides 543
                                   in the coffin
        dazzling trap
Wind hisses. The sea rocks her. Bolts of fear.
Her face not free of tears, she clutches Perseus,
throws her arms around him, says, “My child,
troubles have me. Yet, you sleep so soundly,
oh, baby on my breast, in this bleak box,
moonlit, bronze-bolted, blue-black dusk and gloom
you lie. The salty brine drowns your drenched locks,
but you give no attention to the surge
of waves or howling racket of the wind.
You lie. Your sweet face peeks through the purple robe.
But if you took our terror for a terror,
your little ear would hear my sad lament.
Sleep, baby. Sleep, ocean. Sleep, boundless evil.
I command you. Change will come. Zeus! Father!
May some change come! Forgive presumptuous prayers!
Whatever words I say are far from just.


Homeric Disputations (Spring 2020)

In these dark times, join our informal Homer discussion group.  We will meet over Zoom, usually every week, for about an hour. Times may vary to accommodate different time zones and to give everyone a chance to join in on the fun!

Come meet new colleagues, and invite your friends. For time/date and Zoom info please see our UofC listserv for announcements, or check us out on twitter @rhetpoet! (PS You don’t have to be affiliated to participate!)

We will discuss classic interpretive mysteries, such as: “wait, Odysseus has a sister?” and “did he really squeeze a second nekuia into the last book?” as well as “how many chariot drivers is too many chariot drivers?”
The event is strictly BYOH (Bring Your Own Homer) and no expertise is required.
You are welcome to help put the (w)oinos into (w)oinopa ponton as we chit-chat.


*Inaugural Meeting*

Classics 21, Thurs 27 February 3.30-5ish

This informal seminar seeks to provoke writers and scholars from across the University by asking them to respond to a lyric poem from antiquity. We hope such responses may take the form of collaborative projects—on any scale—creating vigorous dialogues between disciplines, and between individuals who might not otherwise find an opportunity to work together over their (undisclosed) shared interests. Such disclosures may lead to creative translation, transformation, appropriation, and the derailment of standard academic practices—and ultimately to a reflection on the pervasive and sometimes corrosive position of classical literature in the Humanities.

Our fuel for the first meeting will be Simonides’ “Danae Fragment.” A Greek text and an English translation are provided, but the seminar is specifically designed with readers and writers of English in mind. Scholars of Greek are invited, on the condition that they begin to forget their Greek. Maximal and minimal pairings appreciated. Bring enthusiasm and rhythm. Learned lectures will not be provided, but refreshments will abound.

Please circulate to anyone of interest—particularly to creative writers, translators, and performers. Due to funding constraints, participants are asked to provide their own pen and pencil(s). The organizers are happy to make accommodations for anyone interested in attending—feel free to contact Claudio at

For the documents: [password is “space”].

Winter 2020 Schedule

Welcome back to the new year! Please find below the winter schedule for R&P, with some titles forthcoming. Please also note that contra the department calendar, our special workshop has been rescheduled to 2/27.
*Tuesday,* January 21st – Rebekah Spearman (UChicago)
Title TBD
Thursday, January 30th – Harriet Flower (Princeton)
“Augustus and the Roman Triumph”
Thursday, February 20th – Marcos Gouvea (UChicago)
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Homer (in English)”
Thursday, February 27th – Special Workshop Event
Lyric{s}Paces: Inaugural Meeting
[Please Note: “Weird Things I’ve Thought Of: A Workshop for Idiosyncratic Ideas” will be rescheduled for next quarter.]
Thursday, March 5th – Jordan Johansen (UChicago)
Title TBD
Thursday, March 12th – Jennifer Weintritt (Northwestern)
Ut Scriptor Cyclicus Olim: Horace on Adaptation and the Epic Cycle”
All talks will take place as usual in Classics 21 at 3:30pm, and will be followed by a lively reception. Looking forward to seeing you there!