While in Christchurch as part of her performance at WORD Christchurch Shifting Points of View season, Natalie Haynes is taking time out of her schedule to spend with UC Classics students and staff.
Natalie is a writer and broadcaster; the star of the BBC Radio 4 series ‘Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics’ and author of four books on classical themes. Her new novel, ‘A Thousand Ships’ was published in May of this year and is a retelling of the Trojan War.
During ‘Troy Story’, Natalie will take you on a tour around Trojan War, the greatest conflict in ancient literature, perhaps in literature full stop. From the causes of the war (divine displeasure) to its complex aftermath, this show encompasses some of the greatest poetry ever written. The stories of the women whose lives the war affected have been largely untold, from the Amazon warrior, Penthesilea, to the priestess who saw the whole thing coming, Cassandra. Continuing a project she began with her novel, The Children of Jocasta, Natalie takes the women out of the shadows and puts them back where they belong: in the middle of the story.
Following her performance for WORD, UC Classics is very excited to be hosting Natalie in conversation at an exclusive event for UC Classics students and staff. The discussion will include areas of Natalie’s research and writing, their own research areas and other topics of interest relevant to current UC Classics courses; a fantastic opportunity and a real treat for the department!
Beginning with a discussion of Hades and his realm, the recent UC Connect talk Alone of all the Gods: Concepts of Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Greece, looked at a wide range of Greek attitudes to death and the afterlife: from Homer’s idea of heroic death in battle and its bitter costs, to reincarnation in the philosophies of Pythagoras and Plato, to figures such as Dionysus and Persephone who are linked to death and renewal – and more.
Did you know we have some incredible pieces of history right here on campus? The University of Canterbury’s James Logie Memorial Collection features unique artefacts including ancient Greek pottery, an Egyptian piece of Mummy-wrapping linen and a Roman bust.
Some of these pieces are currently on display in the exhibition From Hieroglyphs to Text Messages: A Short History of Writing which is located in the ground floor gallery of the Matariki building.
The exhibition includes samples of Egyptian papyrus, Roman grave inscriptions and early cuneiform tablets. Together these artefacts tell the fascinating story of how different cultures have developed ways to communicate and share ideas through writing.
The exhibition runs until May 22, from 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Why not check it out next time you’re nearby? It’s right opposite Puaka-James Hight.
See it while you can – the James Logie Memorial Collection will soon be held and displayed in the Arts Centre in the CBD. Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr says “it will have an ideal environment for greater collaboration with the Arts Centre, the Canterbury Museum, and the Art Gallery, and other key parts of the Christchurch cultural and educational community.” So make sure you view the exhibition while it’s still here!