Peter Meineck, “The Future of Ancient Greece: Activating the Classics Today for Tomorrow”

February 27, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm


Peter Meineck, Associate Professor of Classics in the Modern World at New York University will present a public lecture entitled "The Future of Ancient Greece: Activating the Classics today for tomorrow". 

In this illustrated talk, Professor Peter Meineck will explore how ancient Greek literature can be newly enacted and placed powerfully into service for society today. This talk will focus on Professor Meineck's work with the American veteran community and the with immigrants and refugees in using ancient works to highlight and contextualize important issues facing marginalized communities as well as learning much more about these works from people who have experienced the same kind of events they describe. Professor Meineck will suggest that activating classical works in this way can help us to envision alternate and even better futures for our societies.

Peter Meineck holds the endowed chair of Associate Professor of Classics in the Modern World at New York University. He specializes in ancient performance, cognitive theory, Greek literature and culture and humanities public programming. Professor Meineck received his PhD in Classics from the University of Nottingham and his BA (hons) in Ancient World Studies from University College London. In addition to his academic career, he has worked extensively in the professional theatre in New York and London, founding Aquila Theatre in 1991. His national public programs have earned a Chairman’s Special Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Hayden, Onassis and Mid Atlantic Arts foundations, among others. These programs include Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives, The Warrior Chorus and Shakespeare Leaders in Harlem. He has also directed, and or produced over 50 productions of classical plays at venues as diverse as Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, The Ancient Stadium at Delphi and the Bush and Obama White House. His productions of classical drama have toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. Professor Meineck has published widely in the field of ancient performance, his most recent works include Theatrocracy: Greek Drama, Cognition and the Imperative for Theatre (Routledge 2017), Combat Trauma and the Ancient Greeks (edited with David Konstan, Palgrave 2014) and a new translation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes (Hackett 2014). He has published numerous translations of Greek plays and had several of his translations and adaptations produced on the professional stage. His translation of Aeschylus' Oresteia was awarded the 2001/2 Louis Galantiere Award by the American Translators Association. He is also Honorary Professor of Classics at the University of Nottingham and has held fellowships at Princeton University, the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, the University of California San Diego and the Onassis Foundation. Among the awards he has received, are the 2009 NYU Golden Dozen Teaching Award, a 2009 Humanities Initiative Team Teaching Award, the American Philological Association Outreach Prize, and the Outstanding Teacher Award at USC.  He also serves as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in New York and is currently the Assistant Chief with the Bedford Fire Department. Professor Meineck teaches ancient drama, ancient theatre production, classical literature and mythology, ancient war and society, global literature, theatre history, Shakespeare, cognitive theory as applied to ancient studies and drama, dramaturgy, directing, acting, arts administration, and applied theatre. 

Location and Address

501 Cathedral of Learning