The Centre for Research on the Narrative Literatures of the Ancient World
Director: Dr Ian Repath
KYKNOS aims to stimulate, co-ordinate and promote research on the narrative literatures of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Near East. In order to achieve these aims KYKNOS organises and undertakes activities such as co-ordinated research seminar series; national and international conferences; panels at national and international conferences; collaborative workshops; a reading group; and publication and dissemination of research.
KYKNOS is based in Swansea and is a hub of national and international networks of scholars working on ancient narrative: there are close ties to colleagues in Lampeter and Exeter in particular, and there are associate members throughout the UK, Europe, the USA, and in Japan, South Africa, and Israel.
The focus of KYKNOS lies on narrative. A narrative is a connected series of events (a ‘story’, fictional or true) recounted by a narrator. KYKNOS is concerned with all literary and cultural aspects of ancient genres and texts which are intrinsically narrative; narrative elements in ancient literary texts and genres which are not intrinsically narrative; the methodologies associated with the study of narrative, and their application to all forms of ancient literature; and the reception of ancient narrative in modern culture, and of ancient culture in modern narrative. Narrative genres in classical literature include both ‘factual’ texts (such as historiography, biography, travel narrative), and ‘fictional’ ones (such as epic poetry, mythography, novels). Narrative elements are also found in other literary forms: for instance messenger speeches in Greek tragedies, narratives in forensic speeches, myths in Platonic dialogues, or in various poetic forms. There is also a corpus of narratives in Ancient Egyptian. There are clear intertextual links between many of these texts, and a number of critical and analytical methodologies that can be applied to them all.
KYKNOS provides an excellent research environment for scholars at all stages, and there have been visiting researchers, both doctoral and post-doctoral, coming to Swansea to work with KYKNOS from Tokyo, Ghent, Lausanne, Padua, Göttingen, Lille, and Freiburg.