From Sappho to… X: Classics, performance, reception

Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths
Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths. Photo: Garth Oriander

To coincide with Malthouse Theatre’s staging of the play Sappho…in 9 fragments, Monash University, Malthouse threate and the Australasian Classical Reception Studies Network are hosting a three day interdisciplinary conference on the relationship between performance and the Classics. The conference will bring together Classical scholarship, theatre studies, translation studies and cultural studies to investigate how performance manipulates and embodies our understanding of the classical world.

Using the figure of Sappho as a metaphor for the many gaps we have to fill as we grapple with the otherness of the ancient world, the conference will explore how readers, translators, performers and spectators endlessly recreate the Classics in our imaginations and our embodiments.


20–22 August 2010


  • Malthouse Theatre, Sturt Street


Keynote speakers

  • Professor Andrew Benjamin (Monash University)
  • Professor Page Du Bois (University of California, San Diego)
  • Professor Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge)
  • Dr Margaret Reynolds (Queen Mary’s College, University of London)
  • Professor Peter Snow (Monash University)

Invited presenters

  • Helen Eastman (Artistic Director, Onassis Programme, University of Oxford)
  • The creative team of Sappho…in 9 fragments.


Titles of papers link directly to mp3 files. If you require a transcription please contact the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies.

Speaker Title of paper mp3 file size
Giulia Torello Reconstructing Sappho for the Italian Stage Podcast icon9.8 mb
Panel Discussion Sappho Conference | Group Discussion Podcast icon14.6 mb
Smiljana Glisovic Performing the Invisible Podcast icon10.2 mb
Simon Goldhill The Solitude of Sappho: a One-Woman Show Podcast icon22.5 mb
Sue Tweg ‘Giving Voice to Macaria’ Podcast icon15.6 mb
KO Chong-Gossard ‘Setting Sappho to Music: Philology and Text Setting’ Podcast icon15.5 mb
Ika Willis Loving Vergil: Writing, Reading, and History’s Queer Touch Podcast icon8.7 mb
Leni Johnson An Isolation Embedded in Sexuality Podcast icon5.0 mb
Marguerite Johnson Saint Sappho Podcast icon13.0 mb
Andrew Benjamin Hegel’s Other Woman: The Figure of Niobe in Hegel’s Aesthetics Podcast icon24.3 mb
Rachel Kirk ‘Rethinking Plautus: Theatre Translation and Performability’ Podcast icon6.7 mb
Robin Dixon Towards an Actorly Understanding of Plautine Comedy Podcast icon9.6 mb
Emma Cole Sacrifice of Iphigenia Podcast icon7.6 mb
Page Du Bois Besides Aphrodite: Sappho, Ritual, and Performance Podcast icon19.3 mb
Alison Richards X marks the spot: embodying gaps in the Classics Podcast icon12.6 mb
Elizabeth Hale Popping Out as Romans: Children, Precocity, and Classical Performance in Henry James and beyond Podcast icon7.8 mb
Panel Discussion Reinventing Hypatia Podcast icon24.3 mb
Margaret Reynolds Like Mother, Like Daughter Podcast icon27.3 mb
Peter Snow Performance and Adaptation Podcast icon21.0 mb


  • Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths, Monash University
  • Paul Monaghan, Victorian College of the Arts and Music, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Alastair Blanshard, University of Sydney, ACSRN


Classical Association of Victoria logo

This conference is generously supported by the Australian Research Council as part of the Monash/Malthouse Linkage Project Staging Sappho: investigating new methodologies in performance reception. Our thanks to Classical Association of Victoria and Malthouse Theatre.