Narratives of metamorphosis, from human into other living and mineral forms, have long provided an important tool for thinking through the complexities of our relationship with the world around us. From Ovid to David Cronenberg, thinkers and artists have used the trope of physical transformation to figure the ways in which human and non-human agencies have evolved from and adapted to one another in a relationship characterized by fluctuating perceptions of friction and symbiosis, distance and proximity. This conference seeks to locate the theme of metamorphosis in the early history of the western environmental imagination, from Classical antiquity to the Early Modern period; and to explore the ways in which the various cultural and historical manifestations of metamorphosis from this earlier period resonate with the environmental approaches and concerns of our present day.

This conferenced is organized by Francesca Martelli, Associate Professor of Classics, UCLA, and Giulia Sissa, Distinguished Professor of Classics and Political Science, UCLA.

All sessions are at UCLA Royce Hall, room 314.

Co-sponsored by UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies, UCLA Clark Library, and UCI Shakespeare Center.