Patrice Rankine is a professor in the Department of Classics and the College and a writer. In addition to the reception of classics in current times, Rankine is interested in reading literature with insights from various theoretical approaches, including race and performance, queer theory and social history. His forthcoming book is “Theater and Crisis: Myth, Memory, and Racial Reckoning in America, 1964-2020.” The following interview has been edited and condensed.
Q: As a classics professor, how do you make the classics accessible and relevant for students?
Locating the classics might be like the game we play as children on summer road trips or long car rides: Find a red car. You might not normally notice red cars, but once they are raised to your awareness, they’re everywhere. The same goes for what we might call the relevance or accessibility of the classics. Once we realize that they are everywhere, we cannot unsee them.