Princeton University’s Dan-el Padilla Peralta to Deliver Annual Hoyt Lecture in Classics Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s talk is titled "Kehinde Wiley and Black Classicisms."
Dan-el Padilla Peralta, associate professor of classics at Princeton University, will give Washington and Lee University’s annual Hoyt Lecture in Classics on March 28 at 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theatre on the W&L campus.
Peralta’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Kehinde Wiley and Black Classicisms.” During this talk, he will examine the works of the artist Kehinde Wiley as a frontal challenge to white-centering classicism, and as an invitation to appreciate what the political theorist Charles Mills has called “the illumination of Blackness.”
Peralta’s research focuses on the Roman republic and early empire, as well as classical reception in contemporary American and Latin American cultures. He co-edited a volume of essays on Roman cultural appropriation called “Rome, Empire of Plunder: The Dynamics of Cultural Appropriation.” Peralta has a particular interest in the works of the ancient Roman polymath and the prolific author Marcus Terentius Varro, and he has written pieces about Varro.
Peralta once held a position on the editorial board of the journal Eidolon and published “From Damocles to Socrates: The Classics in/of Hip-Hop” and “Barbarians Inside the Gate: Fears of Immigration in Ancient Rome and Today” with them. He has also published articles in The Guardian, Matter and Vox.
In 2015, Peralta published “Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League,” a memoir on how his emergence as a classicist was influenced by his experiences as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. He is also the author of “Divine Institutions: Religions and Community in the Middle Roman Republic.”
Peralta believes writing has an essential role in promoting social justice and that classicists should be allies for people of color. He formerly taught at Columbia’s Justice in Education Initiative for formerly incarcerated adults and its Freedom and Citizenship Seminar for high school students.
This event is a keynote lecture for the “Classics at the Crossroads” series sponsored by W&L’s Classics Department, Art and Art History Department, and Africana Studies Program.