skip to content




Date and Time: Tuesday, 21st November, 2023 at 18:00h BST

Online: Access details below and

Venue: Room GR06/07, Faculty of English, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA


Our third seminar this season features Professor Verity Platt (Lewis-Gibson Visiting Fellow and Cornell University.) Join us as she delves into the processes and activities in antiquity through which individuals and societies acquired, created, documented, and disseminated information, understanding, and insights .... and sponges.

Exploring how physical artefacts played an active role in the ancient production of knowledge, this lecture focuses on a rather unexpected object that was ascribed epistemic value in classical antiquity: the humble sponge.

As naturally-formed products of the deep, sea sponges helped thinkers across a wide variety of literary genres and philosophical positions to formulate relations between matter and mind, perception and knowledge, and reality and representation.

In the history of art, the sponge was even hailed as a co-creator of images that transcended Platonic ontologies of representation to attain a form of visual “truth”, offering an ecology of ancient art that speaks to contemporary sensitivities to object-oriented and nonhuman modes of becoming.

Online Access Details

Topic: Greek Dialogues - The Sentient Sponge: Between Natural History, Art History and Philosophy
Time: Tuesday 21st November, 2023 at 18:00h BST

Join Zoom Meeting:

(If you cannot access the seminar by clicking on the link, copy the whole link and paste it into your web browser's address bar.)

Meeting ID: 983 7370 7597
Passcode: 875983


Livestreaming on:

: The Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies Channel

CCGS Cambridge | Facebook


Image credit: Christine Elfman, Fossil, Glass Sponge (2022,) Faded lichen dye on paper (anthotype.) Courtesy of the artist and EUQINOM Gallery


Tuesday, 21 November, 2023 - 18:00
Event location: 
Online and Room GR06/07, English Faculty Building, University of Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP