Science Fiction, Fantasy, and the Ancient World (2016)

Centuries before George McDonald, J.R.R.Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the Græco-Roman world featured many examples of non-realistic fiction, such as Lucian of Samosata’s ironically-named book A True Story, hailed as the first science fiction story.  In the 2016 C. May Marston Lecture, Dr. Ewald, the C. May Marston  Assistant Professor of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics, will explore the ways in which these works do not count as traditional mythology, but as creative works of individual talents. Such works look different through the lenses of modern science fiction and fantasy, compared to the ancient lenses of poetry and prose. Ancient non-realistic fiction matters because it shows the world as it might be rather than the world as it is, like such authors as Lewis and Tolkien.