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Guest Post: On Queer Martians

Recently a former student sent me an email with the subject line “Hello‚Ķ and some thoughts about Martians“. Last year she took my course on “Antiquity in Science Fiction”; we also did an independent study course on “Queer Ecology and Petronius’ Satyricon” in which we read Lee Edelman’s No Future. Her thoughts about Martians combinedContinue reading “Guest Post: On Queer Martians”

On voices from the past

Recently I attended a wonderful online event associated with the exhibition A Slightly Curving Space at the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in Berlin, curated by Nida Ghouse and inspired by the work of acoustic archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi. I was unfamiliar with the concept of acoustic archaeology before attending this event, but not, it turnsContinue reading “On voices from the past”

Was Homer a naturalist?

No, I’m not asking whether Homer was a systematic observer of nature, or whether they believed in supernatural beings. I’m asking a more fundamental question: was “nature” part of Homer’s way of looking at the world? (By “Homer” I mean, of course, the collection of persons who created the epic poems the Iliad and theContinue reading “Was Homer a naturalist?”

On my grandfather, the ancient Greeks, and Nature

I have been thinking and writing for the past year about how memory shapes our experience of environments. I’ve been focusing mainly on cultural memory, in particular the modern, mainly Euro-American memory of ancient Greece as the site of a uniquely beautiful relationship between humans and the more-than-human world of birds, grapevines, Nemean lions, forests,Continue reading “On my grandfather, the ancient Greeks, and Nature”

On packing

How does a guy from Alabama pack to move to Egypt? I’ve been pondering this question for more than a month, but I’ve yet to do any actual packing. The time has come, it would seem, to do something. But what? The legion of unknowns here feels paralyzing. I’ve never moved to another country before,Continue reading “On packing”

On starting to blog

Hi there! I’ve decided to start a blog. It will be a personal blog, so I should begin by introducing myself. My name is Samuel Durham Cooper. I have a PhD, so people sometimes call me Dr. Samuel or Dr. Cooper. Or Dr. Scooper. Or just Samuel, or Sam. My job title is Assistant ProfessorContinue reading “On starting to blog”


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