Brill’s Companion to Classics in the Early Americas


Brill’s Companion to Classics in the Early Americas illuminates the remarkable range of Greco-Roman classical receptions across the western hemisphere from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth century. Bringing together fifteen essays by scholars working at the intersection of Classics and all aspects of Americanist studies, this unique collection examines how Hispanophone, Lusophone, Anglophone, Francophone, and/or Indigenous individuals engaged with Greco-Roman literary cultures and materials. By coming at the matter from a multilingual transhemispheric perspective, it disrupts prevailing accounts of classical reception in the Americas which have typically privileged North over South, Anglophone over non-Anglophone, and the cultural production of hegemonic groups over that of more marginalized others. Instead it offers a fresh account of how Greco-Roman literatures and ideas were in play from Canada to the Southern Cone to the Caribbean, treating classical reception in the early Americas as a dynamic, polyvocal phenomenon which is truly transhemispheric in reach.

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Maya Feile Tomes received her MA, MPhil and, in 2017, PhD degrees in Classics from King’s College, Cambridge. She is currently Teaching Associate in Colonial Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies in the Spanish & Portuguese Section, University of Cambridge.
Adam J. Goldwyn received his PhD in Comparative Literature from City University of New York in 2010. He is Associate Professor of English at North Dakota State University and the author of Byzantine Ecocriticism: Women, Nature, and Power in the Medieval Greek Romance.
Matthew Duquès received his PhD in English from Vanderbilt University in 2013. He has taught at Vanderbilt, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Alabama, where he received tenure in 2019.

William M. Barton, Connie Bloomfield-Gadêlha, Michael Brumbaugh, Artur Costrino, Matthew Duquès, Maya Feile Tomes, John T. Gilmore, Adam J. Goldwyn, Andrew Laird, David A. Lupher, Jean-Nicolas Mailloux, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Ivy Schweitzer, Nicole A. Spigner, Joanne van der Woude, Zachary Yuzwa
''This new collection assembles fourteen essays focussing on how European classical learning was transmitted, resisted, and transformed in Ibero-American, Caribbean, American and Canadian areas between the sixteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries ... The collection is directed at advanced students and scholars working in the relevant cultural areas, and at classicists everywhere. Editor Maya Feile Tomes seeks to illuminate both the centring of an elite culture in New World writing and academic curricula, and the radical decentring it underwent.'' Germaine Warkentin, in BMCR 2022.07.19
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Synecdoche in Reverse: America’s Transhemispheric Classics
Maya Feile Tomes

1 Utopia Writes Back: José Manuel Peramás on the Limits of Republicanism
Michael Brumbaugh

2 Degenerating the Classical Canon in Brazil: Bernardo Guimarães’s Ovidian A Origem do Mênstruo [‘The Origin of Menstruation’] (1875)
Connie Bloomfield-Gadêlha

3 Heaven and Hell: Classical Rhetoric and Courtly Wit in Early Modern Brazil – The Case of Gregório de Matos
Artur Costrino

4 La Primera Parte del Parnaso Antártico [‘The First Part of the Antarctic Parnassus’]: Print and the Politics of Translation in Early Peruvian Poetry
Joanne van der Woude

5 Justaque cupidine lucri ardentes [‘Burning with a Just Desire for Gain’]: A Barbadian Poet Celebrates the Peace of Utrecht
John T. Gilmore

6 Lucianic Dialogues in Colonial Santo Domingo: The Historical Miscellany of Luis Joseph Peguero
Dan-el Padilla Peralta

7 Nahua Latinists: Classical Learning and Indigenous Legacies in Sixteenth-Century Mexico
Andrew Laird

8 Romans in Spain and Britain as Models and Anti-Models for New World Encounters
David A. Lupher

9 A New England Underworld: The Necropolitics and Necropoetics of Katabasis in the Anarchiad (1786–87) and Mock Epics of the Early U.S. Republic
Adam J. Goldwyn

10 “Familiar Commerce”: The Classical Origins of John Winthrop’s “Modell” of American Affiliation
Ivy Schweitzer

11 Phillis Wheatley’s Niobean Poetics
Nicole A. Spigner

12 William Apess and the Athens of America
Matthew Duquès

13 Beavers as the Bees of New France: The Beaver’s ‘Allegorical Turn’ in Father François Du Creux’s Historia Canadensis
William M. Barton and Jean-Nicolas Mailloux

14 The Fall of Troy in Old Huronia: The Letters of Paul Ragueneau on the Destruction of Wendake, 1649–1651
Zachary Yuzwa

The book will be of interest to faculty, graduates and advanced undergraduates in early American literature(s), colonial studies, Iberian studies, Francophone studies, Classics and classical reception, and transnational and/or global studies.
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