N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: October 25, 1997
Discipline / contribution: drama - scholarship ; classics; teaching
Citation / biographical information:
Desmond Conacher (BA., M.A. [Queen’s], Ph.D. [Chicago]) held his first regular appointment at the University of Saskatchewan, where he taught in the Department of Classics from 1947 until 1958. Since 1958 he has been a member of the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto, where he is currently Professor Emeritus.Degree received: Doctor of Letters
Dr. Conacher is the author of several important monographs, including Euripidean Drama: Myth, Theme and Structure (UofT Press, 1967) - which remains one of the most influential comprehensive studies of Euripides’ plays, Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound: A Literary Commentary (UofT Press, 1980), Aeschylus’ Oresteia: A Literary Commentary(UofT Press, 1987), and the recently published Aeschylus: The Earlier Plays and Related Studies (UotT Press, 1996). He is the author of numerous articles and studies on Greek drama and the Western dramatic tradition and has published an edition, with translation, of Euripides’ Alcestis (Warrninster, 1988). He remains very active in his field: April saw the publication of “Sophocles’ Trachiniae: Some Observations” (American Journal of Philology ll8  21-34), while publication of Euripides and the Sophists (Auckwoh) is expected in the corning year.
Recognition of Dr. Conacher’s scholarly achievements has not been lacking. In 1976 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was Visiting Professor of Classics at Stanford University in the Spring of 1981, at Princeton University in 1987, at the University of Texas at Austin in 1989, and at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1993. He holds honorary degrees from Dalhousie University (LL.D. 1992), the University of Victoria (D. Lift, 1993), and Queen’s University (LL.D. 1995) and has been Honorary President of the Classical Association of Canada since 1991.
In addition to being an internationally renowned scholar, Dr. Conacher is well known for his skill and dedication as a teacher, his personal warmth, and his wonderfully dry sense of humour. He has had a profound influence on several generations of students, including some who are now members of faculty at the University of Saskatchewan. It is filling that he be honored by the institution that saw the beginning of his illustrious career.
Degree presented by: John Porter, Department of Classics
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