Rossana Zetti

Thesis title: Politicising Antigone in Twentieth-Century Europe: From Hegel to Hochhuth


After graduating in Classical Literature at Università degli Studi di Milano, Rossana completed an Msc in Classics at the University of Edinburgh, where she is currently working on her PhD project (third year) supported by the School Doctoral Scholarship under the supervision of Professor Douglas Cairns. Her PhD research focuses on the reception of Sophocles’ Antigone in twentieth-century Europe and her study aims at clarifying the ideologies and contexts which produced several renewed versions of Antigone in this century.


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Undergraduate teaching

I ordinarily teach on elemenrtary Greek language tutorials (Greek 1A and Greek 1B), as well as survey courses of classical history (the Greek and Roman World courses) and Classical Literature. In each academic year, I have been observed in my tutor practice by a different course organiser:Dr. O’Rourke, Dr. Hoskin and Dr. Rawles.

I have tutored a 4th year student in preparation of her final exam of Italian language (April-May 2017) and I am currently tutoring a PhD student in Intermediate Latin.

Current research interests

Reception Studies and Theory, Ancient Greek Tragedy, Antigone, Greek Literature

Past research interests

I have written my Msc thesis on the reception of Sophocles' Antigone in twentieth-century Ireland.

Project activity

The aim of my PhD thesis is the study of the major twentieth-century adaptations of Sophocles’ Antigone, with a particular focus on the two iconic modernist versions of Jean Anouilh (1944) and Bertolt Brecht (1948). They are particularly relevant since they invoke the political questions raised by the play and the largely political legacy of its performance tradition. My aim is to explore the ideologies and contexts which produced these renewed interpretations of Antigone, the translation adopted and the linguistic changes occurred. A complete investigation of this topic will shed light on both the modern reception (what are the reasons of the prolonged and everlasting success of Antigone’s myth in the modern times?) and the comprehension of classical drama (what are the underlying conflicts and uncertainties in human behaviour that Antigone explores?).

I have organised the seventh Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World (AMPRAW) at the University of Edinburgh (23-24 November 2017). My next project includes the organisation of a panel on “Democratising Classics” at the 2018 Celtic Conference in Classics at the University of St Andrews (14-18 July 2018).  

Current project grants

School Doctoral Scholarship

Conference details

- “The Re-Staging of Antigone in Twentieth Century Europe: an Irish Example”, Reception of Ancient Myths in Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Culture (Lódz, Poland), 12-13 November 2015.

- “Two Twentieth-Century Adaptations of Antigone”, Edinburgh, Classics Postgraduate Seminar Series (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 14 April 2016.

- “Two Twentieth-Century adaptations of Antigone: between Politics and War”, London, PGwip Classical Seminar Series (London, United Kingdom), 21 October 2016.

- “A Twentieth-Century Reworking of Sophocles’ Antigone: Between Displacement and Continuity”, Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World (AMPRAW) Conference (Oxford, United Kingdom), 13 December 2016.

- "Die Antigone des Sophokles: die Rezeption im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert", German for Students of Classical Studies course (Cologne, Germany), 7 July 2017.

- “Antigone in the twentieth century: an Icon of Resistance”, Memory & Antiquity (Bonn, Germany), 28-30 September 2017.

- “Ideological and Creative Practice in Brecht’s Re-telling of Antigone’s First Stasimon”, Poetry & Classics Now (London, United Kingdom), 2 November 2017. Chair of the afternoon session.

-  “Brecht’s Doubting the myths: the limits of Classics in a post-war world”, Rejecting the Classics Workshop (London, United Kingdom), 21 February 2018.

-  “L’Antigone di Hasenclever (1917): un’icona politica e pacifista”, The Old Lie: I Classici e La Grande Guerra (Bologna, Italy), 21 March 2018.

- “The Re-Staging of Antigone in Twentieth Century Europe: an Irish Example”, conference contribution, Dynamics of Ancient Myths in Culture, eds. Malgorzata Budzowska et alii (within the Peter Lang series Warsaw Studies in Classical Literature and Culture), 159-178.

- Antigone’s (mis)appropriations in twentiwìeth-century Europe: Memory, Politics, and Resistance, Calíope Presença Clàssica.

- Sophocles’ Antigone reworked in the Twentieth Century: the Case of Hasenclever’s Antigone (1917), New Voices in Classical Reception Studies.