Bodega Poetics: Classics and Caribbean Diaspora
Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Associate Professor of Classics at Princeton University
Beginning with a reflection on the history of the word “bodega,” this lecture will look at the significance of ancient Greece and Rome to modern Caribbean communities. The focus will be on thinking through the shifting relationship of “classics” to Afro-Caribbean diasporas, and on several forms of interpretation useful for charting that relationship: historical, poetic, autobiographical. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.
This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the First-Year Seminar Program and the departments of classical studies, Spanish & Portuguese studies, Africana studies, educational studies and the Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean studies program.
Biography (provided by the speaker)
Dan-el Padilla Peralta is associate professor of classics at Princeton University, where he is associated with the Department of African American Studies and affiliated with the Programs in Latino Studies and Latin American Studies and the University Center for Human Values. He researches and teaches the religious history of the Roman Republic and Empire, global histories of slavery and citizenship, and critical race theory’s importance to the historical and contemporary study of classics and classicism. He is the author of Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League (Penguin 2015) and Divine Institutions: Religions and Community in the Middle Roman Republic (Princeton University Press 2020); and he has co-edited Rome, Empire of Plunder: The Dynamics of Cultural Appropriation (Cambridge University Press 2017) and Making the Middle Republic: New Approaches to Rome and Italy, c. 400-200 BCE (Cambridge University Press 2023). He has recently completed a book manuscript provisionally entitled Classicisms and Other Phobias. Projects currently in progress include a study of 338 BCE and the origins of Roman imperialism (co-authored with Denis Feeney; under contract with Harvard University Press), A People’s History of Rome (under contract with Princeton University Press), and a manifesto on race and racism in the disciplinary identity of Classics (co-authored with Sasha-Mae Eccleston). He is also a volume co-editor for The Cambridge History of the African Diaspora and sits on the board of the RaceB4Race collective.