UBC Graduate Research

Podcasting Lucan and the Classical World Brady, Christian


My final product from the Roman Spectacle class was a podcast about the classical world of ancient Rome. It takes Lucan’s epic poem Pharsalia as the jumping off point for all sorts of investigations into literary, political, and cultural issues that engage modern classicists and tries to explain these issues in an easily digestible way. One of the primary topics I wanted to focus on in the beginning episodes was the concept of spectacle, not just by defining it but by showing the ways in which spectacle influenced political decisions and changed artistic expression in imperial Rome. Each episode (of which there are two and several more planned) takes a familiar concept from the modern world, like action movies from the 1980s, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, or Canadian PSAs, and deconstructs it without academic jargon. The show follows a theme from familiar content to the unfamiliar classical world and equips the listener with an intellectual framework for understanding issues in the classical world with a sort of modern mnemonic. The episodes are not organized in a hierarchical way. The information from one episode overlaps with that of another to give listeners the ability to make connections between different concepts depending on their engagement and interest in any particular topic. Ultimately, the aim of the project was to create a medium for people to engage with concepts in classical scholarship by bringing their own experiences from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Through this interplay of the modern and the ancient, we can find new ways in which the classical world informs our understanding of modern cultural phenomena, but also ways in which the modern world can help us better articulate classical concepts.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada