Miss Clairon in Medea, by 

Charles-André van Loo, Neues Palais in Potsdam.

The sheer number of Medea dramas 1750−1800 is considerable, which raises questions about why this particular and rather extreme character of ancient tragedy is placed on stage and on the page throughout Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century. As a transgressive character Medea seems to overstep a number of eighteenth-century borders: language borders, nation borders, cultural borders, borders of ideal motherhood and femininity, and genre borders. How is this surging eighteenth-century interest in Medea, one that moves beyond national borders, to be interpreted within a European perspective?

A collaboration

The symposium is organized by Professor Anna Cullhed, Department of Culture and Aesthetics (Literature) at Stockholm University, in collaboration with Theatre Studies, Stockholm University, Uppsala Interdisciplinary 18th Century Seminar, and the research network AGORA, Uppsala University. It is generously supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, which is currently funding the project “Moving Medea: The Transcultural Stage in the Eighteenth Century”, and by the Faculty of Humanities, Stockholm University.


Keynote speakers in Uppsala, at April 25, 4 – 7 PM, Humanistiska teatern, Campus, Engelska parken.

Pushing the Boundaries of Operatic Convention and European Identity: Generic and Historical Perspectives on Georg Benda's 1775 "Medea"

Edith Hall is Professor of Classics at King’s College London, and Co-Founder and Consultant Director of Oxford University’s Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama (APGRD).

Edith Hall
Edith Hall


From hearth to Hades: adventures with Medea and ballet d'action

Fiona Macintosh is Professor of Classical Reception and Fellow of St Hilda's College, University of Oxford. Director of the APGRD.

Fiona Macintosh
Fiona Macintosh.


Speakers in Stockholm, at April 26, 9 AM – 5 PM, the Auditorium, Manne Siegbahnhusen, Frescativägen 24E. Detailed Schedule to be announced.

Petra Dotlacilova: Tragedy à la rococo: Costumes for Noverre's ballet Médée et Jason

Katherine Heavey: Seneca's Medea in English Manuscript Translation: MS Sloane 911

Anthony Lappin: "Ó mágica Medéia!": colonies, empire, and the politics between. Spain, Portugal, and their dominions

Roland Lysell: Fate, characters and dramatic structure in Klinger's Medea dramas

Larisa Nikiforova: Ballet "Medea and Jason" on the Russian Stage of the 1780s and 1790s and the "Greek Project" of the Empress Catherine II

Sabrina Norlander Eliasson: An Illustrious Woman for Polite society? On the presence of Medea in Eighteenth-Century Portraiture

Gaby Pailer: "Sieh in mir eine neue Medea" - Women Authors' New (Anti-)Medeas from Heroic to Bourgeois Tragedy

Zoé Schweitzer: How can Medea be infanticide in late 18th century theatre?

Anna Cullhed: Inverting the Barbarian. Estrangement and Excess in the Eighteenth-Century Medea 

Logotyper för Riksbankens jubileumsfond, Agora, och Uppsala universitet