The Malta Classics Association will be holding its annual Lecture and Dinner on 7 December 2017 at Mt St Joseph Retreat House, Mosta at 18:30.
The guest speaker is Prof Gloria Lauri-Lucente who will be delivering a talk entitled ‘Pursuit, Flight and Frigidity – Ovid’s Myth of Apollo and Daphne.’ The usual understanding of Ovid's myth of Apollo and Daphne depends on questions of desire and transgression: desire in the key of passionate sexual pursuit, transgression in the key of attack and consequent virginal self-protection. Within this general reading of the story, there is an important aspect that is frequently overlooked by previous commentators, and that aspect has to do not so much with the narrated protection of virginity as with the narrated insistence on virginity, which is to say polemical frigidity. The extent to which this polemic in the story of Apollo and Daphne constitutes not just an argument but indeed a pathology or, to put it in slightly different terms, an argument accompanied by a psychosocial critique of aberrant behaviour, will be the talk's main focus of attention. Reference will also be made to the tale of Actaeon and Diana, another story of insistent virginity which leads to mutation and the dislocation of human consciousness from its corporeal source.
Gloria Lauri-Lucente is Professor of Italian and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta. She is Head of the Department of Italian and Director of the Institute of Anglo-Italian Studies. She coordinates the MA programmes in ‘Film Studies’ and in ‘Literary Tradition and Popular Culture.’ She is co-editor of a number of critical collections, the most recent of which are Jane Austen’s Emma: Revisitations and Critical Contexts (Aracne, 2011), Style in Theory. Between Philosophy and Literature (Bloomsbury, 2013), and E.M. Forster Revisited (Solfanelli, 2015). She is the volume editor of the Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies (2013, vol. 12; 2014, vols 13/14) and is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, mainly on the lyric tradition, Anglo-Italian Studies, and Film Studies.
To make reservations for the dinner which will follow and for further information, send an email.