Thomas Palaima – the Raymond F. Dickson Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin – will deliver Eastern Illinois University’s 16th annual fall Phi Beta Kappa lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in Lumpkin Auditorium (room 2030).
Admission to the lecture, “Home Front and War Front in Ancient and Modern Times,” is free and open to the public.
This lecture will look at how 20th- and 21st-century western cultures have sheltered citizens from the realities of warfare, and will examine the negative consequences for soldiers, for decision makers and for civilians back home. Modern examples will be contrasted with examples from archaic and classical Sparta and Athens.
Palaima’s special field of interest is Aegean studies. He is the author of The Scribes of Pylos, co-author of Unlocking the Secrets of Ancient Writing, editor of Aegean Seals, Sealings and Administrations, and author or editor of a number of other books and monograms, as well as 71 additional scholarly articles and book chapters. Palaima has served as consultant to the Discovery Channel’s “Unsolved History” documentary on the Trojan war and as specialist commentator for the BBC program, “A Very Special Genius: How Michael Ventris Cracked Linear B.” For the past eight years, he has taught the first half of the University of Texas’ renowned summer intensive Greek program.
Palaima’s non-Aegean interests include war and violence studies, and general cultural and political topics. He writes occasional opinion essays for the Times Higher Education Supplement, and since 1999 he has served as a regular op-ed contributor to the Austin American-Statesman, for which newspaper he has written on topics ranging from current events to the music of Bob Dylan and Pinetop Perkins.
Most recently, he organized and taught a seminar for gifted high school juniors on the topic, “War, Violence and Story-Making” – one of five national seminars sponsored by the Telluride Foundation. A distinguished classics scholar with an international reputation, Palaima is also one of the University of Texas’ most popular lecturers and classroom teachers. Among his many honors is his receipt of the University of Texas’ 2004 Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching.