Scholars in Classics and in neighbouring disciplines are increasingly aware of the importance of colonial and postcolonial histories to their work. European colonisers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries went out to their colonies with ‘the Bible in one hand and the Latin grammar in the other’. But what became of their attempts to impose the idea of European cultural superiority via Greek and Roman literature and history? This talk will focus on the history of Classics in the British colonies of West Africa, especially in school curricula, and will investigate some of the tragic dramas produced by Nigerian writers who have worked with classical models.
About the speaker
Barbara Goff is Professor of Classics at the University of Reading. She has published extensively on Greek drama and its reception, especially in postcolonial contexts. Her most recent publications include a chapter co-edited with Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis on ‘Inclusive Classics and Pedagogy: Teachers, Academics and Students in Conversation’, in the volume Diversity and the Study of Antiquity, edited by Daniel Libatique and Fiona McHardy (London: Routledge 2023), and ‘Decolonizing Classics in Africa: the work of Alexander Kwapong’, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 65 (1) (2022) 32-41.
© photo: A reading of Medaye by Femi Osofisan, published in The Nation April 21 2021.