Current Doctoral Students

Alice Ahearn

Alice is a DPhil student at Wadham College working on women’s English translations of Ovid’s Heroides, focusing on how recent translations have served as turning points in our understanding of the poems, and on how traditional scholarship has neglected the significance and impact of the poems for women readers (supervised by Stephen Harrison and Fiona Macintosh). She gained her BA in Classics from Oxford in 2015, and completed her MA at Durham University in 2016, where, supervised by Jennifer Ingleheart, she researched how unconventional translations of Horace’s Odes made the poems accessible to new audiences.

Claire Barnes

Claire's DPhil project (supervisor: Fiona Macintosh) charts the 20th century's philosophical and popular understandings of 'authenticity' and how these have been applied to classical tropes across this period - particularly those used to express a perceived 'authentic' connection with classical antiquity. The thesis considers the use of 'classic' and 'authenic' as constructs signifying value, and how both emerge in the socio-political and intellectual climate of the early 20th century - though it also examines the evolution and impact of thinking around authenticity and classics down to the present day. She has a particular interest in how authenticity resonates in the work of Christopher Logue, Kae Tempest, and EM Forster, and has published on the latter. Claire co-produces the APGRD Podcast and, from late 2019 to early 2023, she worked as the APGRD's Archivist-Administrator. 

Marcus Bell

Marcus is working on choreographing tragedy at the turn of the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on the relationships between the postmodern and the classical (supervisors: Fiona Macintosh and Felix Budelmann). They completed their BA and MA in Classical Reception at King's College London (supervisor: Edith Hall). Marcus is also interested in practice-based, and practice-as-research; as a dancer and choreographer they work with Oxford-London based dance company Thomas Page Dances and they are an artistic associate with By Jove Theatre company. Their thesis aims to align queer theory and practice in theatre and performance studies with assemblage-thinking to critically explore the tangles and encounters taking place when embodied receptions, or dynamic integrations, of the ancient world are positioned against modernism and modernity. Marcus co-convenes the Corpus Christi seminar series 'Queer and the Classical' and lectures at Goldsmiths.

Caterina Domeneghini

Caterina is a DPhil student in English Literature and Classics supervised by Stefano Evangelista and Fiona Macintosh. Her research explores the elusive questions what is a classic? and, more broadly, what is world literature? from the perspective of a twentieth-century British publisher. Her primary focus is Everyman's Library, the popular series of national and international classics in translation launched by the working-class autodidact Joseph Dent in 1906 and reaching one thousand volumes fifty years later with Aristotle's Metaphysics. She is especially interested in canon building and the role of translation in the formation of a national consciousness in Britain and beyond.

Zoë Jennings

Zoë completed her BA and MA at Durham and is now a DPhil student with the APGRD, working on the performance reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the twenty-first century. She is interested in the ways in which today’s Ovid, now by definition a ‘performable' Ovid, has been constructed in postmodern scholarship, literature and popular culture. She is also exploring Ovid’s position within the broader twenty-first-century trend of performing Greco-Roman epic, which is one of the key focuses of the APGRD’s Performing Epic project.

Patrick Johnson

Patrick is a DPhil student at St Cross College whose work focuses on exploring depictions of psychological distress in classical literature and their potential relevance and worth regarding the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health today (particularly concerning the concept of ‘Moral Injury’). Having completed his BA at Durham and his MPhil at Cambridge (supervisor: Simon Goldhill), Patrick’s doctoral project is supervised by Fiona Macintosh and Constanze Güthenke from the Classics Faculty and Paul Šalkovskis from the Experimental Psychology department. Exploring the reciprocal relationship shared by Psychology and Classics, he is reviewing the work of Jonathan Shay as the most developed example of modern mental healthcare informed by classical literature. Patrick is particularly interested in the ethical concerns arising from the employment of Greek tragedy in drama therapy and theatre therapy projects, looking into case studies from the 1950s to the present day.

Leo Kershaw

Leo is a DPhil student in Classical Languages and Literature at Balliol College and previously completed his BA and Masters at Oxford, with a particular interest in classical reception. His DPhil project, supervised by Fiona Macintosh, researches how Euripides’ Medea has been adapted and reinterpreted in South Africa from the beginning of its reception history in 1858 to the present. It focuses on the entanglement of the performance history of Medea with colonialism and racialisation and the ways in which it has been gradually liberated from its colonial connections, utilising decolonial and postcolonial theory. 

Daniel Whittle

Daniel's doctoral project, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, analyses the reception of Graeco-Roman literature within the writings of enslaved peoples in North America and the Caribbean between 1780 and 1865. By appropriating an intellectual milieu regularly denied to enslaved peoples of America and the Caribbean, the writers he considers were able to communicate in the style of their oppressors with contemporaries who were sceptical about the injustice of racial prejudice. Daniel's thesis addresses the rationale for the adoption of classical imagery and motifs and, simultaneously, the potential anti-colonial and abolitionist ramifications of these appropriations in both political and literary environments. He recently discussed this project in further detail on the podcast Tell Me Muse.