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Peter Meineck: "The Embodied Theatre: Cognitive Science and Ancient Greek Drama" (Video)

November 8, 2012 - 6:00pm

In this illustrated talk incorporating live demonstrations, Peter Meineck will suggest a new method for approaching ancient drama using research drawn from the cognitive sciences. Can neuroscientific studies and modern cognitive theories be applied to the ancient Athenian brain? Can recent advances from the affective sciences offer us an array of new tools for better understanding the experience of ancient performance? This talk will suggest that the dramatic mask operating in a multisensory dynamic environment provided a deeply personal emotional anchor to music, narrative and movement of ancient drama and that new research in face recognition, neuroaesthetics, eye-tracking, human proprioception and sensory processing can indeed illuminate important aspects of the ancient world.

This is the autumn quarter 2012 Lorenz Eitner Lecture on Classical Art and Culture sponsored by the Classics Department. 

Dr. Peter Meineck is Clinical Associate Professor of Classics at New York University, Honorary Professor of Classics at the University of Nottingham and Founder on Aquila Theatre ( He has published several translations of ancient plays with Hackett and is currently completing a new book on cognitive science and Greek drama. He has directed and produced over 60 professional theatre productions and written several stage adaptations of classical works from Homer to Rostand.

This lecture is now available as a video podcast through Stanford YouTube and Stanford iTunes.

Eitner lecture by Peter Meineck featured news on the Human Experience site. Article written by PhD candidate Stephen Sansom: