Professor Pappas Fuses Ancient Lit with Hip-hop to Create Epic Mashup

Wednesday, December 02, 2015
SF STATE NEWS -- Move over Kanye, Jay-Z and Eminem — Virgil and Homer are in the house. Ancient Epic Tales, a class taught by San Francisco State University Assistant Professor and Raoul Bertrand Chair in Classics Alexandra Pappas, breathes new life into Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” and Virgil’s “Aeneid” by exploring the similarities between the classics and contemporary hip-hop and pop music. “Just as Homer’s and Virgil’s poetic songs investigate honor, glory, pride, valor, status, power, authority and justice, so, too, do the lyrical stylings of Jay-Z, Eminem and Lorde, Pappas tells SF State News. “In the hip-hop genre, in general, there’s a focus on language and word play and ingenuity in language, and that’s very much a feature of Homer — There’s an enduring connection in how one treats language and how one plays with language.”