In this shortcast of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live before a screening of Fellini Satyricon as part of our Occasional Evenings series, BISR classicist Bruce King and fellow faculty Isi Litke take up the ancient past and its (cinematic) reconstruction in the present. How did ancient Romans imagine, and then parody, a “good” death—or the staging of one? How do we come to grips with the fragmentary nature of our knowledge of antiquity? What imaginaries emerge (including 20th century fascist ones) in the fissures between what remains and what’s been lost? What do out-of-sync dubbing, nonsense language, dream logics, and incongruous gestures have to do with the postmodern dismantling of grand narratives of the ancient past and its putative “simplicity and grandeur”?
The Podcast for Social Research is produced by Elliot Yokum. If you like what you’ve heard, consider subscribing to Brooklyn Institute’s Patreon page, where you can enjoy access to all past and future episodes of the podcast.