Two new appointments in the School of Classics

Congratulations to Henry Stead, who has been appointed to a lectureship in Latin, and to Sophie Schoess, who has been appointed to a temporary lectureship in Greek.

Henry works on a wide range of Classical Reception topics. His book A Cockney Catullus was published by OUP in 2015. One of his current projects, Brave New Classics, focuses on the effect of the Russian revolution on British 20th-century culture through the prism of classicism up to 1956.

Sophie works on a very wide range of authors, in both Greek and Latin, from Homer to Boccaccio. She completed her Oxford DPhil in 2018, entitled ‘Re-Writing Ariadne: Following the Thread of Literary and Artistic Representations of Ariadne’s Abandonment’. She is currently working on Christian responses to classical myth, from late antiquity to the Renaissance.

Congratulations to Jenny Messenger

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.

Congratulations to Matthew Shelton

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!

Death and Immortality in Ancient Philosophy

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 12.57.44Alex 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.

View the book on the publisher’s website.


Teaching Award for Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 15.12.07Dr 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.