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”, by Sven and Dagmar Salén Foundation, and by the Faculty of Humanities, Stockholm University.



Keynote speakers in Uppsala, at April 25, 16:15–19:00, Humanistiska teatern, Campus Engelska parken.

The lectures are open to the public and the event is a collaboration with Uppsala University, the research network AGORA, and the Interdisciplinary seminar for eighteenth-century studies.


“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.


Thursday, April 26: 9:15–16:30 Symposium

The Auditorium, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University

Open to the public

09:15–09:30 Introduction by Professor Anna Cullhed, organiser

Katherine Heavey (University of Glasgow): “Seneca’s Medea in English Manuscript Translation: MS Sloane 911”


Zoé Schweitzer (Saint-Etienne Unversity): “How can Medea be infanticide in late 18th century theatre?”

10:30–11:00 Coffee Break

Petra Dotlačilová (Stockholm University): ”Tragedy à la rococo: Costumes for Noverre’s ballet Médée et Jason”


Larisa Nikiforova (Vaganova Ballet Academy): “Ballet “Medea and Jason” on the Russian Stage of the 1780s and 1790s and the “Greek Project” of the Empress Catherine II”


Anthony Lappin (National University of Ireland): “’Ó mágica Medéia!’: colonies, empire, and the politics between. Spain, Portugal, and their dominions”

12:30–14:00 Lunch

Roland Lysell (Stockholm University): “Fate, characters and dramatic structure in Klinger's Medea dramas”


Anna Cullhed (Stockholm University): “Inverting the Barbarian. Estrangement and Excess in the Eighteenth-Century Medea”



Coffee Break

Sabrina Norlander Eliasson (Stockholm University): “An Illustrious Woman for Polite society? On the presence of Medea in Eighteenth-Century Portraiture”


Stockholm Academic Male Chorus/Stockholms Studentsångare


Logotyper för Riksbankens jubileumsfond, Agora, och Uppsala universitet