Oedipus, Antigone and the politics of emancipation

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Discussion | Literature & Poetry, Politics, Society, The Arts


Discuss big questions of politics through stories from Greek mythology with you in the role of the insightful and majestic chorus.
Session 1 of 4 explores the pitfalls and promise of COVID politics seen through the lenses of king Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. How does Oedipus’ banishment from Thebes during a terrible plague, as the perfect scapegoat, relate to our post-pandemics politics? How do we distinguish between the righteous search for cause-and-effect and the wrongful attribution of blame? Can Antigone and her politics of counter sovereignty inspire us in our own strategies of resistance and emancipation from group-think and state power?

Kalypso Nicolaïdis is Professor of International Relations at Oxford University and a Governing Body Fellow at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College. Her contribution to the festival draws on her last book (Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings of Brexit).