Dissertation defense: Alyson Melzer

Date Range
Fri January 31st 2020, 2:00 - 3:00pm
Event Sponsor
Department of Classics
Building 110, Room 112
Dissertation defense: Alyson Melzer

The Somatics of Style: Performance, Poetics, and the Body in Greek Literary Criticism

This dissertation brings to light the previously unexplored centrality of the body to the ancient Greek literary critics’ conceptualizations of literary language and style. By focusing on the somatic terminology, metaphors, analogies, descriptions, and sensations at the heart of Greek critics’ theories and discussions of verbal art, Alyson reveals that the critics creatively incorporated the experiences and aesthetics of musical performance into their treatises. Corporeality in Greek literary criticism, she argues, is the vehicle through which we can better understand how gradual, complex, and innovative the transition from oral modes of performance to written literary culture was in elite Greek circles. 


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