Congratulations to Jenny Messenger, who has successfully passed her PhD! Jenny’s thesis (The Inspired Intellect: Neoplatonism and its Reception in Robert Graves, Jorge Luis Borges, Suzanne Lilar, and Kathleen Raine) considers the role of inspiration, creativity and the esoteric in a range of 20th century writers. Jenny traces a new and complex embedded history of Neoplatonic reception, arguing that while this body of philosophy and literature was attracting little interest in universities, it was a powerful source for creative writers engaging in critical self-reflection about processes of receptivity, writing and inspiration. Jenny’s thesis concludes that Neoplatonic philosophy provided a ‘method’ for articulating spiritual experience and literary inspiration in the 20th century, and her work opens up a much larger ‘alternative’, and ‘non-canonical’ history of classical reception.
Matthew Shelton has been appointed Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cape Town. His appointment there will start in July 2019. Matthew’s PhD thesis explored madness in Xenophon, Plato and Stoicism, and he also works on Apuleius and Epicurean epistemology. Congratulations, Matthew!
Alex Long’s new book “Death and Immortality in Ancient Philosophy” has been published by Cambridge University Press.
In the book, Alex explains the significance of death and immortality in ancient ethics, particularly Plato’s dialogues, Stoicism and Epicureanism; he also shows how philosophical cosmology and theology caused immortality to be re-imagined. Ancient arguments and theories are related both to the original literary and theological contexts and to contemporary debates on the philosophy of death.
Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis received a McCall MacBain Foundation Teaching Excellence Award this academic year. This award particularly recognises those who advance the scholarship of teaching and learning, and who, through sharing their paedagogical practice, have the potential to impact on the practice of other teachers in the University and beyond. Dr Petsalis-Diomidis combines university teaching with public engagement with schools, and prioritises the values of Equality and Diversity in developing the curriculum. She describes aspects of her teaching practice in a short article, ‘Equality and Diversity in Classics Teaching in St Andrews’ published in the Council of University Classics Departments Bulletin 48 (March 2019). The award includes a £750 bursary which she intends to use to fund a student-led workshop, ‘Marvellous Journeys’, for Fife primary school children in Special Collections in 2019-20; a related exhibition in the School of Classics; and research into the paedagogical benefits of student-led public engagement. The participating modules are CL4463 Travels and Marvels in the Graeco-Roman World and GK2001/2003 The Landscape of Greek Prose.
Andrea Brock has been awarded a three year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. She will be busy processing data from the second phase of her coring survey in Rome’s river valley, which will take place this summer. She will then develop her research into a book on the ‘Environmental History of Early Rome.’
The School of Classics is proud to have achieved an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.
Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Awards recognise commitment to the advancement of gender equality in academic, professional and support roles, and recognise departments and institutions taking action to identify and overcome barriers to career progression for all.
Professor Jason König, Head of School, said: “We see the Athena SWAN charter as a set of guiding principles that will bring benefits to the whole School, in ensuring fair treatment and equal opportunity for all staff and students, and in guiding our attempts to deal with other diversity challenges alongside our work on gender equality.”
Dr Giuseppe Pezzini, Director of the Centre for the Public Understanding of Greek and Roman Drama, School of Classics, has received a £119,218 British Academy Fellowship award to research the Latin play Self-Tormentor (Heautontimorumenos) by Terence, a dramatist of the Roman Republic.
Dr Pezzini’s research will focus on the literary and dramatic issues raised by this influential play, and will aim to provide a new text, based on an examination of the manuscripts, a substantial introduction, and a comprehensive and integrated commentary, ranging from language to Roman identity issues.