Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ explored in new podcast episode

“A Water-Filled Journey,” the new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, examines Odysseus’ complex relationship with water. The podcast’s fourth season -- "What Does Water Mean to Us Humans?" -- showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and water.

“In Homer’s Odyssey, the story of the hero’s journey home, the waters of the ocean serve as the main stage. Much of the epic tale takes place on the sea, giving us a glimpse into how ancient Greek civilization understood humanity’s complex relationship with water,” says Athena Kirk, assistant professor of classics in the College of Arts and Sciences, in her podcast.

Her podcast episode celebrates “The Odyssey in Ithaca” event on Fri., April 26, at which Homer’s entire poem will be read by campus and community members, from 8 am to 8 pm in the Groos Family Atrium in Klarman Hall. The event is free and the public is invited.

Kirk’s research focuses on the intersections between literature and epigraphy and the material quality of ancient texts, as well as public interaction with them. She explores documents that seem to fluctuate between the traditional categories of “text” and “object” and “oral” and “written,” such as performed  poetry, drama, and inscribed decrees, which depend on the written medium yet could not exist solely within it.

The “What Makes Us Human?” podcast is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring semester, airing on WHCU and WVBR. The episodes are also available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.

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 Poseidon with his triton
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