This talk will take us on a journey of the tradition of folk songs and poetry from antiquity to contemporary examples while also discussing the experience of a Greek classicist working on oral tradition. With a methodology of "excavating under the words" it argues that the women's song and poetry tradition and also lived experienced shaped much of the ancient poetry. With examples from Homer, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Sappho, and ballads and folk songs from contemporary Greece we will seek to uncover women's voices and experiences. Special emphasis will be given to the theme of “NOSTOS,” leaving one’s homeland, constructions of desire for one’s former space, returning or not, and more.
Andromache Karanika is Associate Professor and Chair of Classics at the University of California, Irvine (2019-21). She is the author of "Voices at Work: Women, Performance, and Labor in Ancient Greece" (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), has co-authored a textbook on Modern Greek and has published numerous articles on Homer, women’s oral genres, lament, pastoral poetry, childhood and ancient games, and the literature of late antiquity and Byzantium. She has recently co-edited a volume on "Emotional Trauma in Greece and Rome: Representations and Reactions" (London: Routledge, 2020). She is currently serving as editor of "TAPA" (formerly known as "Transactions of the American Philological Association"), the flagship journal of the Society for Classical Studies. The Society and its journal celebrated in 2019 their 150th anniversary. She has co-edited the Special Anniversary issue of the Society and its journal. In her outreach she has written for the Greek edition for the "Economist", done a Ted-x talk and podcasts, appeared on Greek National TV, and has been a long serving member of the Greek community in the US.