Scholars@Hallwalls: Neil Coffee, “Armored for the Arena? The Stoics on Social Engagement”
February 28, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Join us at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center for our ninth year of Faculty Fellows talks! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community – with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Free and open to the public.
Modern technology allows us to lead much of our lives remotely, forcing us to consider anew how we socialize and conduct business with others. Surprisingly, the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome have much to say on this question. In their discussions of the good life, they debated how we should engage with the social world so as to thrive and fulfill our obligations. This lecture focuses on the Stoics, who were famous for advocating a deep commitment to society, but often held positions that allowed for substantial disengagement.
Neil is Professor of Classics at the University at Buffalo, and is the author of The Commerce of War: Exchange and Social Order in Latin Epic; Gift and Gain: How Money Transformed Ancient Rome; and co-editor of the forthcoming Intertextuality in Flavian Epic Poetry: A Contemporary Approach. He founded and directs the Tesserae Project, an effort to use digital methods to trace intertextuality. His current book project is entitled Serenity and Engagement: An Ancient Search for Balance.