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Craig Williams
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL 61801-3620)
Orpheus Crosses the Atlantic: Native American Knowledge of Ancient Greece and Rome

A book length study of Native American writers that examines the reception of European classical education and knowledge in colonial New England.

My book tells the hitherto untold story of how Native American writers have used their knowledge of the languages, literatures, and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The centerpiece consists of my translations and interpretations of a small but rich body of texts which have never before been published as a corpus: letters and poems written in Greek and Latin by American Indians in colonial New England. Aiming to make them accessible both to scholars and an interested public, I place these texts in the context of allusions to Greece and Rome found in a variety of Native-authored English-language essays, poems, and novels, allusions which themselves have not yet been studied as a body. My book makes a significant new contribution to the field of classical reception studies, and will enrich our understanding of the complexities of Native American writing over the centuries.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Classics; Native American Studies


Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 5/31/2019