The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome was set up in 2007 to bring together interests among members of staff and postgraduate students in many departments and disciplines across Royal Holloway. The Centre’s focus is on the political, philosophical and literary bridges between the contemporary world and Mediterranean antiquity.
Thinking about the heritage of Greece and Roman has been constitutive of virtually every area of modern life: literature, drama, political theory, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, art, music, architecture, the military, government, gender, LBGT+ rights, post-colonialism, civil rights, medicine, engineering, entertainment, theatre, cinema and sport.
Current research in the Centre has two main strands - classics in popular culture, and classics in contemporary thought. Many members of staff in the department have an interest in reception; our broader interests range from political and literary philosophy, urbanism, literary receptions, science fictions, and popular culture.
The Centre's Directors are Dr. Liz Gloyn and Dr. Efi Spentzou. The Centre hosts our current graduate students whose work is associated with the reception of the classical world. The Centre offers a Masters by Research in Classical Reception for those wishing to explore this subject at PGT level.
Major current projects include:
- Three Classicizing Capitals - Prof. Richard Alston
- Classical monsters in popular culture - Dr. Liz Gloyn
- Archaeology and Comics – Dr. Zena Kamash, with Dr. Leen van Broeck and Dr. Katy Soar
- Heritage, crafting and well-being in post-conflict contexts – Dr. Zena Kamash
- Science fiction and the fantastic in classical literature - Dr. Nick Lowe
- The modern Greek novel and the Classical tradition - Dr. Efi Spentzou
- Reimagining of Eurydice as the Girl - Dr. Efi Spentzou
Members of the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome
- Prof. Richard Alston - political receptions including imperialism and colonialism, Urbanism and the idea of the city, and political philosophy (Foucault, Arendt, and ancient politics).
- Dr. Siobhan Chomse - the reception of the Roman emperor in contemporary art and culture.
- Dr. Liz Gloyn - classics in popular culture and the history of women in classics.
- Dr. Richard Hawley - the history of teaching Classics and classical treatments of gender.
- Dr. Zena Kamash - Middle Eastern heritage and archaeology; decolonising Classics; post-conflict reconstruction; archaeological ethics.
- Dr. Nick Lowe - literary reworkings of the Classical plot, particularly focusing on popular culture and science fiction; intellectual history of late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- Dr. Efi Spentzou - feminist receptions of the Classical, with a particular focus on literary theorists and philosophies of the self, and the modern European poetical traditions.
Honorary Research Fellows
- Aven McMaster - Professor Emerita of the Ancient Studies department at Thorneloe University at Laurentian in Sudbury, Canada. Her scholarly interests are Latin poetry, gender and sexuality, public scholarship, and reception of the ancient world, especially in speculative fiction and media. She is a co-host of The Endless Knot Podcast, about etymology, history, and culture, and helps to produce videos for the educational video channel Alliterative on YouTube. Her PhD is in Classics, from the University of Toronto.
- Dr Stavroula Kiritsi - reception of Greek tragedy and comedy on the modern stage, and the comparative study of emotions in classical and modern Greece.
Affiliates of the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome
- Prof. Robert Eaglestone - contemporary literature; contemporary European philosophy, with an interest in the use of classical philosophy by twentieth and twenty-first century thought.
- Dr. David Bullen - theatre director, writer, and academic specialising in (histories of) feminist and queer approaches to adaptation, particularly in relation to Greek tragedy and Greek myth.
- Dr. Sam Agbamu - Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Lecturer in Classics at the University of Reading. Prior to his move to Reading, he held his Leverhulme ECF at RHUL, where he had also taught. His research interests generally revolve around how constructions of classical antiquity shape our contemporary societies, particularly in relation to discourses of 'race' and nation. More specifically, he is interested in the role of Latin literature in early modern and modern projects of nationalism and imperialism, and is currently looking at the fourteenth-century Italian poet Petrarch's Latin texts through this lens. He has a keen interest in classical reception in colonial contexts, and has written about Black Classicisms as well as classical reception in postcolonial visual arts.
- Dr. Rhiannon Easterbrook - researcher specialising in classical reception in popular and middlebrow performance and in cultures of consumption from the nineteenth century until the present day. Interests in gender and sexuality, class, and imperialism.
- Peter Olive - the instrumentality of Greek myth in postmodern theory and criticism; Greek drama in performance.