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James I. Porter
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)
Homer: The Very Idea

"Homer: The Very Idea" will involve treating Homer not as a text, but as a cultural phenomenon, a concept, and a point of riveting fascination around which whole disciplines, canons of literature, and bodies of knowledge have come to be organized, from archaic Greece to the present day. Approaching the question will involve confronting the monumentality of the two poems, less their quality as great works of literature than their role as cultural icons, as signifiers of value, and as landmarks in the evolving relationship between literature and culture. To look at Homer in this way is to consider his place--the very idea of Homer--in the culture wars of antiquity and modernity, and to study the intellectual and cultural history of value.

Project fields:

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 8/31/2006