School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

UKZN Scholars Participate in Classical Association of South Africa Conference

Photos: Supplied

Dr Elke Steinmeyer and Ms Helen Lenahan of the Classics Department in UKZN’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, along with postgraduate students Ms Alison Naidoo and Ms Marian Napier, participated in the 34th Bi-Annual Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa, hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Classics Department. T

he conference showcased the research of scholars in the Classics discipline, both nationally and internationally.

Keynote speaker, Professor Dame Mary Beard, a renowned classical scholar and former professor at Cambridge University focused on raising awareness and interest in the discipline in the coming years. ‘Beard is considered the best-known advocate for Classics,’ said Lenahan.

The UKZN staff and students’ papers highlighted the importance of Classics in South Africa and the modern world, as well as its diverse fields of study and relevance. Steinmeyer presented a paper on Neo-Latin in South Africa; Lenahan discussed the impact of Minoan archaeology on H P Lovecraft’s fiction; and Naidoo and Napier discussed how Greek mythology has been incorporated into contemporary young adult literature.

‘The presence of so many UKZN delegates at a major national conference like this offered an excellent opportunity for UKZN Classics to keep up to date with cutting-edge research in the field, to share its own research outputs, and to raise awareness of the programmes it offers,’ said Lenahan.

She added that the conference was a valuable opportunity for young academics in terms of writing, editing, and delivering conference papers, and networking with classicists from South Africa and around the world. ‘This will certainly be of use to them in their research and teaching, and benefit their future career prospects.’

In conclusion, Lenahan stated that the Classics Department plans to provide postgraduate students with opportunities to attend further conferences and workshops; however, funding and logistics are crucial for such projects. She is hopeful that the University will assist in this regard.