Homer's Odyssey Today

In recent years, with migration, displacement and exile so prominent in our daily news, the word Odyssey has gained particular resonance as it is so often used to evoke the long and dangerous journeys over land and water in hope of an elusive homecoming, and of the reunification of families, that so many are forced on in the aftermath of war and destruction.

These journeys have their first literary model in the travels of Odysseus after the Trojan war, pursued by vengeful gods, in search of Ithaca, his home, and his family. As well as an epic journey and a story of adventure, the Odyssey is the story of a marriage, interrupted, and reunited; the story of a son growing up without a father; the story of the price to be paid for war and conquest.

The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, together with B-Film, and BRIHC, is offering a series of events focussing on the Odyssey’s afterlife from a variety of perspectives, ranging from the very local collection of stories, A Midlands Odyssey, to Godard’s modern masterpiece, Contempt, set in Rome and Capri, and Angelopoulos’s Art House classic Ulysses’ Gaze, to the Coen Brothers’ cult classic O Brother Where Art Thou?, a Mississipi Odyssey.