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Balancing tensions in free speech to be topic of Monmouth’s Fox Lecture on Feb. 24

Who gets to speak, and who doesn’t, when everyone is a hero?

That will be one of the questions answered by University of Kentucky professor Jackie Murray when she presents Monmouth College’s annual Fox Classics Lecture on Feb. 24.

Titled “Freedom and Unfreedom of Speech in Appollonius’ Argonautica,” Murray will deliver her lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Pattee Auditorium of the Center for Science and Business. It is free and open to the public.

Apollonius’ Argonautica, the great Greek epic detailing the adventures of the famous “Jason and the Argonauts,” has at its center the Argo, the ship carrying these heroes to stops in the modern Balkans, Middle East, North Africa and southern Europe.

“This Argo serves as not just a physical ship, but also a metaphor for the ‘ship of state,'” said Murray. “Thus, actions taken and decisions made on the ship reflect debates and understandings about best ways to maintain a peaceful society – in this case, with a balance of appropriate treatment of family, friends and others like oneself (philia) and appropriate treatment of foreigners, strangers and others not like oneself (xenia).”

How to determine that balance, as interactions on the ship model, is through a negotiation of just how free speech should be when balancing the interests of the majority against the wishes of those of exceptional talents and influence.

Murray’s book Destroyer of Worlds: Apollonius against His Argonautic Predecessors is under contract to be published by Harvard University Press. She has also published many articles on Greek and Roman poetry, gender, urbanism and topography.

Among her other interests are race studies and the classics, and the reception of classics in African-American and Afro-Caribbean literature. Her research interests are reflected in her teaching; she has developed many courses, including: “Wicked Women: Women in Power – Cleopatra and Wu Zetian” and “Sex and the Ancient City.”

An assistant professor of classics at UK, Murray has been the recipient of several prestigious fellowships and prizes, including the Andrew Heiskell/NEH Rome Prize and the University of Cincinnati Margo Tytus Fellowship. She earned her doctorate in classics from the University of Washington, following bachelor’s and master’s degrees from two Canadian schools, the University of Guelph and the University of Western Ontario.

The Fox Lecture honors the late Bernice L. Fox, who taught English, Latin and Greek at Monmouth from 1947-81.


Monmouth College to host Great Decisions, Associates luncheon Feb. 19-20

Two Monmouth College series will continue Feb. 19-20, as the College will host a Great Decisions discussion and the next Monmouth Associates luncheon.

The Feb. 20 Associates program will feature Lynn Daw, the College’s technical services librarian, who will discuss salvaging treasured archives from the Monmouth Municipal Airport, which suffered $1.1 million in damages from a fire last October. The luncheon program will begin at noon in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room of the Stockdale Center.

Among the items rescued that Daw will discuss was a log book belonging to airport operator Mel Lynch. The book contains many years of historical data regarding flights, passengers, destinations and weather conditions. Although water-logged and singed around the edges, the pages were intact.

Daw will also discuss how she was able to use the disaster as a learning experience, engaging the aspiring curators she teaches in an archiving class at the College.

The cost for a buffet lunch is $10 ($9 for Monmouth faculty and staff). Reservations can be made by calling 309-457-2231 by Feb. 18 or by email at alumni@monmouthcollege.edu.

A free shuttle van transports passengers from two locations to every Associates luncheon. The van stops at the northeast quadrant of the Public Square at 11:45 a.m. and at the Faith United Presbyterian Church parking lot at around 11:50 a.m. It returns to both locations immediately following the program. Shuttle reservations can be made by calling 309-457-2231.

Parking is available in the Stockdale Center lot or along North Ninth Street.

The prior evening, Feb. 19, communication studies professor Trudi Peterson will lead the next Great Decisions program at 7:30 p.m. in Room 276 of the Center for Science and Business. The topic for the week is “Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.”

At multiple billions of dollars in international trade per annum, human trafficking continues to be one of the fastest-growing criminal industries.

While undeniably a global phenomenon, the United States, as one of the world’s leading human trafficking importers, bears a special responsibility to combat this practice. The U.S. and the international community have adopted various treaties and laws to prevent trafficking, but to truly understand and combat the issue, they must find the root causes enabling traffickers to exploit millions of victims.

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