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Open Doors in the Labyrinth: Autism and the Minotaur

April 19 @ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM CDT

In popular culture, autism is frequently visualised as a maze. The maze represents confusion, detachment and fear, and there is often a monster within it. Sometimes the Minotaur in the maze is the autistic person, monstrously part-human, unable to communicate, cut off from family and community. Sometimes Autism itself is the monster, stalking its prey through a dangerous maze.

Yet there is another side to the monster. We also see representations of the Minotaur as happily different, set apart by choice, given an environment he can control and shape. Focusing on the Minotaur in a range of representations both ancient and modern, this talk will explore the implications of locating the autistic character between the roles of hero and monster.

Cora Beth Fraser is an autistic classicist, award-winning teacher and artist who co-founded the UK’s Neurodiversity in Classics Hub, Asterion, in 2021. In 2022 she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for ‘outstanding contributions to the promotion of Classics’. She also exists in Lego form, as a member of the international Lego Classicists Family.


April 19
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM CDT
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