The UCSC Classical Studies Program presents The Annual Carl Deppe Lecture with
Professor Carol Dougherty Wellesley College
This talk considers Homer’s Odyssey in light of recent work in improvisatory studies to suggest that returning home is a creative rather than restorative act. Odysseus is famous for his mētis, exactly the kind of practical reasoning upon which improvisation depends, and close readings of his encounters abroad with the Cyclops and at home with Eumaeus, Telemachus, Penelope, and Laertes will show that Odysseus’ lies and acts of deception do not temporarily disguise his true identity but rather enable him to construct himself anew upon his return.
Carol Dougherty is Professor of Classical Studies and Margaret E. Deffenbaugh and LeRoy T. Carlson Professor in Comparative Literature at Wellesley College. She has published numerous books and articles on the literature and cultural history of archaic and classical Greece and is currently working on a book on Homecomings and Housekeepings in Classical and Contemporary Literature.