Clare Kearns

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20192020 Forum on Kinship

Clare Kearns

Classical Studies; Comparative Literature

CAS, 2020

Kearns is a senior studying Classical Studies and Comparative Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences. Clare is interested in the relationship between antiquity and the present. Her research examines ancient texts through the lens of present-day concerns and, when possible, contextualizes those concerns as products of the ancient world and its reception. Recently, her work has focused on representations of women in Greek epic and tragedy. Clare’s true passion, however, is childhood education and community mentorship. To that end, she tutors at Lea Elementary School through the Lea Latin Scholars program. She’s looking forward to exploring kinship in the Penn community and beyond over her fellowship year.

Αὐτάδελφος and Φιλάδελφος: the Language of Kinship in Sophocles’ Antigone

Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone has long been a touchstone for literary representations of kinship. Antigone’s insistence on burying her brother in defiance of the head of state Creon is the very crux of the play. Overlooked, however, is the role that Antigone’s sister Ismene plays throughout the tragedy, as she often complicates and troubles Antigone’s very rigid definition of kinship. This paper will thus explore the conflicting language each sister uses to conceive of kinship, and how this linguistic destabilization gestures towards more ambiguous, and thus more radical, notions of what it means to be kin.