Efimia D. Karakantza is Tenured Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the University of Patras, Greece, where she has taught since 2007. Her degrees are from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (BA in Classics 1986) and Reading University (PhD in Classics 1993). She is a Fellow in Ancient Greek Literature of the Center for Hellenic Studies, University of Harvard, for which she directs the Kyklos project.
Most of her publications have been on Homer, Attic drama and approaches to Greek myths. In her book on Ancient Greek myths. The 20th century discourse on their nature and interpretation (Athens 2004, in Greek), she studied five major approaches to traditional narratives (among which psychoanalysis, the French School, and Semiotics). In 2014 she introduced a new course on the Reception of Ancient Greek Drama at the department of Philology (Classics division) at the University of Patras. She is the Director of the Jocasta Classical Reception Greece project (http://jocasta.upatras.gr).
She is interested in contemporary Greek cinema and theatrical performances that explore (directly or indirectly) aspects of the Classical tradition aiming at reconstructing a discourse that renegotiates issues of ethnic and political identity, gender, and ultimately the (new) notion of humanity. She is currently working on a book on Sophocles titled: ‘Who Am I?’ (Mis)Identity of the Polis in Oedipus Tyrannus (expected date of publication in fall 2017).
The Self in the Polis of Tragedy: Antigone, Oedipus, Electra
In this lecture I shall be talking about the self in the polis, and how this is reflected in the preoccupations of the tragic poet. First, how the self is constituted in a predominantly public culture, as was the classical Greek; secondly, how the tragic poet reflects on the structures and modes of behavior and thought of his protagonists in the polis. In a self-instituting system, like the democratic Athens, readjustment of civic identity through the works of the imaginary is of prime order.
My case studies will be: Antigone (disrupting again the civic order), Oedipus (lack of identity), and Electra (lamenting over much and over long).