Homeric Folk Psychology

Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 8:46 am

Ruth Scodel, the D. R. Shackleton Bailey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Latin in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, will deliver the ninth annual McKibben Lecture in Classical Studies at 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 25, in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Her talk is entitled “Homeric Folk Psychology.” The free lecture is open to the public, and a reception will follow.

Traditionally, scholars have studied the Greek poet Homer's understanding of the mind by examining his vocabulary for mental activity. Scodel’s talk explores a different approach — looking at how Homeric characters imagine what other characters think and feel. Homeric characters often talk about what other characters are thinking or will think, and they also try to influence and manipulate others in ways that reveal what they think that others think.

About Ruth Scodel

Ruth ScodelScodel received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She taught at Harvard University as an assistant and associate professor before she accepted an appointment at the University of Michigan in 1987, where she now holds an endowed chair in Classical Studies. In 2011 she was the Leventis Visiting Research Professor of Greek at the University of Edinburgh. Scodel was awarded a Humboldt Fellowship in 1993, and the Gildersleeve Prize in 1998. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her teaching and mentoring.

Scodel is an expert in Greek poetry, specializing in Homer and tragedy. She has written five books including Listening to Homer in 2002 and Epic Facework: Self-presentation and Social Interaction in Homer in 2008. She has published more than sixty articles and chapters and has lectured widely. She is a long time contributor of service to the American Philological Association, as president in 2007, and as editor of its journal, Transactions of the American Philological Association, among many other offices.

About the McKibben Lectures

The McKibben Lecture in Classical Studies is sponsored by the Department of Classics and honors Bill and Betty McKibben, whose combined service to Grinnell College and to the greater Grinnell community totaled more than a century.