Ancient Greco-Roman Werewolves and the Posthuman Imagination: Finding the Hum(an)imal

Mythology of ancient Greek and Roman origin has a certain preoccupation with the physical body and how it changes. Interactions between gods and mortals, mortals and monsters, the preternatural world and the limits of civilisation are marked by metamorphic myths. Transformation tales, like that of the monster we now know as the werewolf, highlight the very distinct lack of space between humanity and the wilderness that live outside our cities.

When the posthuman arose in the history of philosophy, we reconsidered the established binaries that informed our understanding of the human. Anthropocentrism was no longer the framework through which we viewed ourselves and other beings of the world – the animals, objects, machines that exist within our sphere. The human/animal binary, furthered by the works of Descartes and Foucault, began to blur.

In returning to the ancient materials on man-to-wolf transformation, this lecture will discuss the advent of the posthuman – and prove that it has existed for much longer than it has been recognised.


Tanika Koosmen is a casual academic in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her doctoral research considered the introduction of the werewolf in antiquity, posthumanism in critical and philosophical thought, and the reception of the transformative myth in modern literature, television, and film media. Her research interests include metamorphic mythology in the ancient Greco-Roman canon, literary folklore and fairy tale traditions, and the application of posthuman thought in contemporary media.

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25 Aug 2024 8:00 pm - 09:30 pm

£6 - £10 & By Donation

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