Red Text on a gray background. Text: Virtual Alumni College. Grinnell College logo in the upper left of the image.

Helen of Troy after the War

Helen is synonymous with beauty itself. She is famous, or notorious, for her appearance that is said to have instigated a decade-long war between the Greeks and the Trojans. But what happened to Helen after the war? Did she remain beautiful? Did she die? In this lecture, Professor Dixon uncovers a minor mythological tradition that imagines Helen growing old after the war. As these mythic accounts of an aging Helen reflect on the ephemerality of beauty and on the brutality of war, they offer us an opportunity to contemplate the power of myth both to express and to challenge our values.

Faculty Member: Dustin Dixon
Discussion Date: Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. 

Meet Professor Dixon

Dustin Dixon teaches courses on the literature and culture of ancient Greece as well as Greek and Latin courses from the elementary to the advanced levels. He regularly teaches first-year Greek, and his past courses include ancient drama; Athenian political culture; classical mythology; Greek religion; Homeric epic; and the reception of classics in early modern drama, gothic novels, horror films, and the work of Jorge Luis Borges.

Professor Dixon researches and writes about ancient drama, fragmentary texts, performance, and classical receptions. His first book, Performing Gods in Classical Antiquity and the Age of Shakespeare (co-authored with John Garrison, Bloomsbury, 2021), explores the dynamics of depicting classical divinities onstage in ancient Greece and Rome and in early modern England. His second book, with a working title The Fragmented Past of Ancient Mythological Comedy, will recover the vibrancy of mythological comedy from its fragmented state. This project, reinterpreting the role of comic poets in literary history, decenters the literary canon to reflect the true protean nature of mythology. He is also developing a major project on the religious ideology of ancient Greek comedy, particularly in the plays of Aristophanes but also those of the fragmentary poets. His articles appear in journals such as Classical Philology, Classical Quarterly, and Classical Receptions Journal.

He has been awarded fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the British Academy, the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London, and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation.
Before coming to Grinnell, Professor Dixon taught at Emory University and Loyola University Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. from Boston University and his B.A. from Northwestern University.

  1. Step 1 Selection
  2. Step 2 Registration
Wednesday October 26
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Please register below.
Event registration summary
Virtual Alumni College - Helen of Troy after the War:
View Lecture Only
View Lecture & Join Discussion