Pantelis Michelakis is Reader in Classics at the University of Bristol. He works in the fields of archaic and classical Greek literature, Greek culture, and the classical tradition. He is the author of Greek Tragedy on Screen (OUP, 2013), Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis (Duckworth, 2006), and Achilles in Greek Tragedy (CUP, 2002). He has also coedited The Ancient World in Silent Cinema (CUP 2013), Agamemnon in Performance, 458 BC to AD 2004 (OUP, 2005), and Homer, Tragedy and Beyond: essays in honour of P.E. Easterling (SPHS, 2001). He is currently working on a book on the reception of ancient Greece in early cinema and on articles on the concept of cultural transmission, on classics and cinema in the digital age, and on the performance history of Greco-Roman drama.
This research project focuses on the encounter between ancient Greece and early cinema at the turn of the twentieth century and on the wider implications of this encounter for classical antiquity and the culture of modernity. The project addresses the question of how moving images help the transformation of “classical" Greece from a narrow, language-based or artefact-based subject to a broader study of civilization not only through specific artistic and technological practices but also through the way in which it captures the collective imagination of a whole era. The project explores the most distinctive features of the reconceptualization of Greece in cinematic modernity concentrating on film narrative, film exhibition, and critical discourses on cinema and the cinematic imaginary. Early film practices and discourses feed into the thinking about Hellenism of newly emerging disciplines
and movements at the turn of the twentieth century such as anthropology, psychoanalysis, and modernism. They also feed into the thinking about Hellenism of established literary, performing, and plastic arts. The audio-visual technologies involved in the production and circulation of knowledge about Greece at the turn of the twentieth century are historically specific, but they are also associated with epistemological desires and anxieties which remain central today as we look at ancient Greece and its cinematic transformations from the age of new media