Reading Group on Antigone (Spring 2020)

Thursday, January 16, 2020
Juan Manuel Echavarria, Réquiem NN (2006-2013). Reproduced with permission from the artist.

The Franklin Humanities Institute seeks participants for a Reading Group on Antigone, organized by Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Castro currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the Academy of Global Humanities at Critical Theory and is in residence at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

The Reading Group on Antigone will focus on literary and theoretical criticism of the play. Readings may include G. W. F. Hegel, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Kamila Shamsie, and Anne Carson, and others.

Meetings will take place in the Spring of 2020 in preparation for a Fall 2020 colloquium, "Antigone's Wordlings," an event in the Franklin Humanities Institute's World Arts series. The colloquium will bring together critical thinkers who have been instrumental in producing and thinking through questions of reception, adaptation, and criticism of Sophocles’ ancient tragedy.

Faculty, visiting scholars and fellows, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and non-Duke affiliates interested in joining the Reading Group on Antigone are invited to complete the following survey on their availability in the Spring of 2020, and to select the texts they're most interested in reading and discussing.

Take the survey

Additional questions should be emailed to Andrés Fabián Henao Castro at

UPDATE (01.06.20)

The reading group meeting dates, times, and schedule of readings are listed below. All meetings will take place at 3-5pm in the Social Movements Lab (B189, Bay 5, Smith Warehouse).

First meeting (Thursday, January 16, 2020): Primary text: Sophocles’s Antigone, David Grene’s translation, published by The University of Chicago Press. (If you cannot find a used copy of that translation, either Elizabeth Wyckoff’s updated translation with The University of Chicago Press, or Robert Fagles’s translation will do.)
Second meeting (Thursday, January 30, 2020): Primary text: selected chapters from Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit, A.V. Miller’s translation, published by Oxford University Press. .
Third meeting (Thursday, February 13, 2020): Primary text: Lacan’s Ethics of Psychoanalysis. Secondary text: Zupančič’s chapter, “Thus…” in Ethics of the Real.
Fourth meeting (Thursday, March 5, 2020): Primary text: Luce Irigaray’s “The Eternal Irony of the Community.” Secondary texts: Moira Fradinger, Tina Chanter, and one or two more chapters from Fanny Soderback’s co-edited volume, Feminist Interpretations of Antigone.
Fifth meeting (Thursday, March 26, 2020): Primary text: Jacques Derrida’s Glas (pages 141 to 189). Secondary text: Sina Kramer’s chapter: “On the Quasi-Transcendental: Temporality and Political Epistemology in Derrida’s Glas,” in Excluded Within.
Sixth meeting (Thursday, April 2, 2020): Primary text: Judith Butler’s Antigone’s Claim. Secondary text: Bonnie Honig’s chapter: “‘Antigone versus Oedipus’ I: feminist theory and the return to Antigone,” in Antigone Interrupted.
Seventh meeting (Thursday, April 16, 2020): Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire.