Mary Beard, University of Cambridge - “The Importance of Being Difficult: On Tacitus and Others”

Event time: 
Friday, November 11, 2016 - 4:00pm
Whitney Humanities Center, Auditorium See map
Event description: 

Directed Studies Class of ’37 Colloquium

Mary Beard is one of Britain’s best-known Classicists - a distinguished Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Newnham College, where she has taught for the last 30 years. She has written numerous books on the Ancient World, including the 2008 Wolfson Prize-winner, Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town which portrays a vivid account of life in Pompeii in all its aspects from food to sex to politics. Previous books include The Roman Triumph, Classical Art from Greece to Rome and books on the Parthenon and the Colosseum. Her interests range from the social and cultural life of Ancient Greece and Rome to the Victorian understanding of antiquity. Her latest book SPQR – A History of Ancient Rome was published in 2015 to critical and popular acclaim.

In addition, Mary is Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement and writes an engaging blog, A Don’s Life, selections of which has been published in book form. In 2013 Confronting the Classics, was published, a collection of essays and reviews that Mary has written over the last 20 years for the Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books and the New York Review of Books.

Mary has been invited to deliver various prestigious lecture series. In 2008 Mary was visiting Sather Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she gave the Sather lectures on Roman laughter (A book, Laughter in Ancient Rome, based on the lectures has recently published by the University of California Press). In 2011 Mary delivered the Mellon Lectures at the National Art Gallery, Washington on the imagery of the Caesars. Mary’s academic achievement was acknowledged, in 2010, by the British Academy which elected her as a Fellow and in October 2011 Mary was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a Foreign Honorary Member. In 2012 she was also elected as an International Member of the American Philosophical Society. In the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2013, Mary was awarded an OBE for services to Classical scholarship. In 2014 The Royal Academy elected Mary as Professor of Ancient Literature, an honorary position first instituted in 1770 and most recently in 2016 Mary was awarded the prestigious Spanish prize, The Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.

Mary is a regular broadcaster and commentator on radio and television, on programmes such as BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, and has presented television documentaries on Pompeii and Caligula as well as the highly-acclaimed TV series, Meet the Romans and the most recent BBC series, Rome – Empire without Limit