The Future of the Past

November 2020
Friday 13 – Sunday 15

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Welcome to Classics Now, an exciting new cultural festival online, in Dublin and beyond.

Dive into the art, literature and ideas of the Ancient Greeks and Romans as interpreted and reimagined by outstanding artists today.

This weekend festival will showcase the current burst of exploration and re-engagement with Classics and the ancient world. Artists, writers and thinkers, international and Irish, are taking Classics as a lens to examine our contemporary cultural and political preoccupations and challenges.

Alongside the main programme there will be a roster of inviting encounters including readings and performances, both live and online, in public spaces such as art galleries and libraries, with a number of events aimed at second and third level students. In interviews, discussions, film screenings, theatre, dance performances and exhibitions, you will see and hear from artists who are working in different genres and art forms, in thought-provoking and imaginative ways.

Come and join the new Renaissance.

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First Glimpse: some Programme Highlights

The ClassicsNow weekend will feature wide-ranging ‘in conversation’ events with some of the most exciting international writers who are using the ancient past as a way to reflect on our world today.

Conall MorrisonDaniel Mendelsohn mobile image

Antigone Now

The story of Antigone, who defied the laws of her city to do what she believed was right, comes back to us in countless versions, in novels, films and plays.

Irish playwrights Conall Morrison and Colin Murphy have delved into the conflicts at the heart of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, in their own adaptations. In conversation online with arts journalist, Paula Shields, they share insights into the play’s resonances today.

Daniel MendelsohnDaniel Mendelsohn mobile image

Daniel Mendelsohn

Award-winning memoirist and critic Daniel Mendelsohn, Editor-at-Large at the New York Review of Books, will be in conversation online with Sebastian Barry, Laureate for Irish Fiction. Daniel Mendelsohn’s books include An Odyssey: a Father, a Son and an Epic and The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones.  

Andrea MarcolongoAndrea Marcolongo mobile image

Andrea Marcolongo

Italian journalist and classicist Andrea Marcolongo will talk about her inspiring and best-selling book, The Ingenious Language: Nine Epic Reasons to Love Greek, in conversation online with New York-based editor and writer Mary Norris, author of Greek To Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen.

Natalie HaynesNatalie Haynes mobile image

Natalie Haynes

We’ll be joining sparkling broadcaster, novelist and classicist Natalie Haynes online on her sofa in London to peer into Pandora’s Jar, her latest take on the ever-fascinating women of Greek myth, whom she wrote about so memorably in A Thousand Ships.

Full programme information will be available here from late-October.

Twitter @ClassicsNowFest

Please Note
The programme is designed to be as flexible as possible in the current Covid-19 circumstances, so not all events are finalised yet. Some live events will necessarily be subject to change closer to the time. All information will be updated here.  

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandThe Classical Teachers Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of Northern IrelandAdvocating Classics EducationIrish Institute of Hellenic Studies at AthensMaynooth UniversityTrinity College Dublin

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