Calame, Claude 1943–

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Calame, Claude 1943–


Born September 10, 1943, in Lausanne, Switzerland; son of Henri Calame (a proxy) and Renée Georget; married Noëlle Descoeudres (a high school teacher), February 5, 1986; children: Carlo-Michel, Alexandre-Henri. Education: University of Lausanne, B.A., 1966, Ph.D., 1977. Politics: "Solidarités." Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Mountaineering, climbing, rowing, trekking, skiing.


Office—Centre Louis Gernet, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2 Rue Vivienne, Paris F-75002, France. E-mail—[email protected].


Università di Urbino, Urbino, Italy, lecturer, 1970-74; Collège de Béthusy (secondary school), Lausanne, Switzerland, teacher, 1975-84; University of Lausanne, Lausanne, professor of Greek language and literature, 1984-2002; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France, director of studies and professor, 2001—. Yale University, visiting professor, 1997-98; consultant to universities and publishers. Military service: Swiss Army, Artillery, 1963-94; became captain.


Association Suisse pour l'Etude de l'Antiquité, Association Suisse de Semiotique (president, 1975-81), Syndicat des Services Publics, SOS-Asile, Solidarité, ATTAC-France (conseil scientifique), Association des Etudes Grecques.


Prix Valiadis.


The Craft of Poetic Speech in Ancient Greece, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1995.

Thésée et l'imaginaire athénien, Payot (Lausanne, Switzerland), 2nd edition, 1996.

Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1997.

The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1999.

Myth and History in Ancient Greece: The Symbolic Creation of a Colony, translated by Daniel W. Berman, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2003.

Masks of Authority: Fiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Poetry, translated by Peter M. Burk, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2005.

Poetic and Performative Memory in Ancient Greece: Heroic Reference and Symbolic Gestures, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2008.

Author of other books not yet translated into English.


Claude Calame once told CA: "Writing about ancient Greek culture means to try to account for various aspects of the incredibly rich and productive capacities of the Greeks in poetical (from Greek poiesis!) creation: understood as products of the arts of the Muses, the literary artifacts in ancient Greek display, through mythological narrative, metaphorical plays, linguistic creativity, and symbolical performances realized in various ritual and dramatic forms with their strong pragmatic dimension and social impact. The research on the semantic and social working of such poetical practices cannot be achieved but in a continuous dialogue with other cultures, in a collaboration with other specialists of Greek poetry and iconography, and with various anthropologists and specialists of other cultural and symbolic identities. The regular meetings with the teachers and graduate students of the universities of Cornell, Harvard, Lausanne, Lille, and Princeton, combined with collective research and publications by anthropologists from Pavia, Turin, Milan, Paris, and Lausanne are contributing greatly to the deep understanding of the most original and actual ideas of the Greeks about the world and the civilizations of women and men, as seen through the poetical practices of a song culture. The anthropological approach of ancient cultures gives to the social and political commitment in our own society a critical turn."