Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ explored in new podcast episode

“A Water-Filled Journey,” the new episode of the “What Makes Us Human?” podcast series, examines Odysseus’ complex relationship with water. The podcast’s fourth season – “What Does Water Mean to Us Humans?” – showcases new thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and water.

Poseidon, the mythological Greek god of water and the seas.

“In Homer’s ‘Odyssey,’… [m]uch of the epic tale takes place on the sea, giving us a glimpse into how ancient Greek civilization understood humanity’s complex relationship with water,” Athena Kirk, assistant professor of classics in the College of Arts and Sciences, says in the podcast.

Her episode celebrates “The Odyssey in Ithaca” event April 26, at which Homer’s entire poem will be read, by campus and community members, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Groos Family Atrium in Klarman Hall. The event is free, and the public is invited.

Kirk’s research focuses on the intersections between literature and epigraphy and the material quality of ancient texts, as well as public interaction with them. She explores documents that seem to fluctuate between the traditional categories of “text” and “object” and “oral” and “written,” such as performed poetry, drama and inscribed decrees, which depend on the written medium yet could not exist solely within it.

The “What Makes Us Human?” podcast is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with Cornell Broadcast Studios. New episodes are released each Tuesday and are available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the College of Arts and Sciences humanities page, where essay texts are also posted.

– Linda B. Glaser

Media Contact

Gillian Smith