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McDiarmid Lectures

John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lectureship

In 2000-2001 the Department of Classics initiated a series of lectures in honor of former Professor John McDiarmid and his wife Mary.  John came to the University of Washington in 1949 and as Chair was instrumental in expanding the graduate program to include the Ph.D. in 1960.  Mary not only supported John in his life's work but also made a significant contribution to the vitality of the department in her own right.  In recognition of their dedication to the success of the department and of the crucial role they played in its growth, we have established the John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lectureship.  For further information about Professor McDiarmid's life and career, click here.

As part of the lecture series, each visitor not only gives a public lecture but also offers a separate seminar to our graduate students to discuss trends in the field of Classics and current issues pertinent to our discipline.  The visits have been both successful and highly popular, particularly as the graduate students choose the speaker and run the event with the assistance of our graduate program coordinator.

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, we have reached the first critical stage in the process of fully endowing the lectureship: we have received the $25,000 needed to set up the endowment. In order to fund the annual event fully, the endowment will need to ultimately grow to $75,000. If you would like to help us reach that goal by making a contribution in honor of John and Mary, please contact the chair, Deborah Kamen.

Past John and Mary McDiarmid Lecturers

Year Speaker Title
2023 Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton) The epistemics of mass enslavement in Greco-Roman antiquity: some initial hypotheses  (John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lecture)
2022 Edith Hall (Durham University) Classics and Apocalypse (John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lecture)
2021 Nandini Pandey (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Roman Diversity: Aestheticizing and Commodifying Human Variety, Then and Now (The 2020–21 John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lecture)
2020 Emily Wilson (University of Pennsylvania) CANCELLED – Re-translating Homer  (2019-20 McDiarmid Lecture)
2019 Leslie Kurke (Univ. of California, Berkeley) Sappho on Papyrus: Reading Some New Poems
2018 Sharon James (UNC Chapel Hill) Reading Women's Experiences in New Comedy
2017 Alessandro Barchiesi (NYU) -- John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lecture Virgil's Geopoetics
2016 Gregory Nagy (Harvard) A rethinking of Sappho in the light of the newest fragments
2015 Sarah Iles Johnston (Ohio State) Wondering About, and Wondering At, Metamorphosis in Ancient Myth
2014 John Marincola (Florida State) Plutarch and the Character of History
2013 Maria Wyke (University College, London) Antiquity in Silent Cinema
2012 James J. O'Hara (North Carolina) Teaching, Pretending to Teach, and the Authority of the Speaker in Roman Didactic and Satire
2010 Cynthia Damon (Pennsylvania) Pliny's Planetary Theory: Soundings
2010 Tim Whitmarsh (Corpus Christi, Oxford) Unscrolling the Text: Greek Literature and the Hellenistic Diaspora
2008 Peter Bing (Emory) Inscribed Epigrams In and Out of Sequence or "Valorous-hearted as well were they who fought at Eïon"
2007 Patricia Rosenmeyer (University of Wisconsin, Madison) From Syracuse to Rome: The Travails of Silanion's Sappho
2006 Catharine Edwards (Birkbeck College, University of London) Silent Protest: The Politics of Death in Tacitean Rome
2005 Diskin Clay (Duke University) The New Empedocles
2004 David M. Halperin (Michigan) How to Destroy the History of Sexuality
2004 Denis Feeney (Princeton) Transitions into History: Founding and Refounding, the City or Rome
2002 Helene Foley (Barnard) Choral Identity in Greek Tragedy
2002 Simon Goldhill (Cambridge) Artemis and Greek Culture in the Roman Empire: Structuralism, Polytheism, and Mess
2001 John Henderson (Cambridge) Love in Copenhagen: Thorvaldsen's Museum