Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Inaugural Paper

IAS Seminar Room, Millburn House, 5.15, Thursday 22nd November 2012.

We are delighted that Dr Stuart Gillespie (Reader in English Literature, University of Glasgow) will give the Network's inaugural paper on Thursday 22nd November, 2012 in the IAS seminar room. There will be drinks afterwards and all participants are encouraged to join us at Le Gusta for supper (pay-as-you-go) afterwards. This will be a chance for those of us, at all levels, working on or interested in the classical tradition, translation or empire to meet informally and continue to discuss the paper. If you intend to join us please let me (t dot grant at warwick dot ac dot uk) know so that I can book the right number of places.

Dryden’s Virgil and Empire

This paper seeks to show that the ‘writing of empire’ throughout the eighteenth century and beyond was heavily influenced by the widely read Dryden version of the epic of empire, the Aeneid. This can be demonstrated because anglophone writers instinctively adopted Dryden’s language when dealing with this subject, and because Dryden’s translation was a particular, inflected, non-neutral account of what Virgil’s poem has to say about empire. Hence the discussion will address both Dryden’s decisions as a translator, and their cultural-historical consequences.

In preparation participants are strongly encouraged to read:

Karen O’Brien, ‘Poetry against Empire: Milton to Shelley’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 117 (2002), 269-96. If you have difficulty finding a copy of this, please contact Dr Teresa Grant (t dot grant at warwick dot ac dot uk).

About the speaker:

Dr Gillespie's core work has always been, and remains, interdisciplinary: especially as between English/European literature (translation, comparative studies) and Classics/English (reception, translation, intertextuality). Stuart Gillespie was in 1992 founding editor of Translation and Literature (Edinburgh University Press), now the preeminent scholarly periodical in the field of literary translation. A further initiative in this field is the five-volume Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, which he conceived and planned with Peter France in 2000. In the field of classical reception he co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius (with Philip Hardie, 2007), and is currently writing for the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature. He has conducted research on both sides of the Atlantic on manuscript English translations from the classics, some of which is described in his monograph English Translation and Classical Reception: Towards a New Literary History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).