Former Doctoral Students

Joshua Billings

Joshua Billings completed his doctorate in Oxford in 2011 under the supervision of Oliver Taplin and Fiona Macintosh. He is now Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University, having previously taught at Yale and held a research fellowship at St John’s College, Cambridge. His first book, Genealogy of the Tragic: Greek Tragedy and German Philosophy  (Princeton University Press, 2014), traces how Greek tragedy and the concept of “the tragic” become important to conceptions of modernity and to the philosophical thought of German Idealism. He has co-edited volumes of essays entitled Choruses, Ancient and Modern (with Felix Budelmann and Fiona Macintosh, Oxford University Press, 2013) and Tragedy and the Idea of Modernity (with Miriam Leonard; for the OUP Classical Presences series, 2015).

Karen Caines

Karen Caines originally read English Language and Literature at King’s College, London, and more recently undertook a Classics degree at Trinity College, Oxford. After an Oxford MSt in Greek and Latin Language and Literature, she wrote her DPhil (supervisors: Fiona Macintosh and Stephen Harrison) examining Lord Byron’s engagement with classical authors across the broad range of his works, including his self-proclaimed ‘studiously Greek’ dramas. Given past academic scrutiny of Philhellenism, she explored the influence of Rome as distinct from Greece in considering Byron’s deployment and transformation of classical materials at a seminal moment of Romanticism. 

Iarla Manny

Iarla Manny was the Michael Comber PhD Student in the Reception of the Classical World at The Open University and St Hilda’s College, Oxford. He graduated with a BA in Classics from Trinity College Dublin, and earned an MPhil in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at Balliol College, Oxford. His MPhil thesis, 'Hellenism or Hebraism? The Ambiguous Allegiances of Gerard Manley Hopkins', was awarded the Gaisford Graduate Dissertation Prize. Continuing his research on late nineteenth-century Classical receptions, Iarla wrote his doctoral thesis on Oscar Wilde's engagement with Graeco-Roman antiquity.

Tori McKee

Tori McKee studied for her first degree at Dartmouth College in the United States, and completed an MPhil in Greek and Latin Literature at Oriel College, Oxford (dissertation on the reception of Hippolytus in the twentieth century was supervised by Fiona Macintosh). Tori studied for her doctorate part-time at the Open University (supervisors: Lorna Hardwick, Joanna Paul and Fiona Macintosh) whilst pursuing a career in University Administration at the University of Cambridge. Her research investigates thematic clusters in the reception of the Hippolytus and Phaedra myth, via three major source texts: Euripides' Hippolytus, Seneca's Phaedra and Racine's Phèdre. She analyses the three original texts as a collective whole, challenging the idea of a single 'source text'.  Her thesis looks at the reception of the myth across genre, including drama, dance, opera and film, with a particular focus on adaptation.

Simon Perris

Simon Perris is Senior Lecturer in Classics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He completed his DPhil thesis in 2008 on the post-war literary reception of The Bacchae in English (supervisor: Oliver Taplin) and is currently writing a book on the same subject. Simon has published articles and chapters on Greek tragedy, translation, and classical reception, including a chapter in Theorising Performance (Duckworth, 2010).

Kathleen Riley

Kathleen Riley completed her thesis in 2004 on ‘Reasoning Madness: The Reception and Performance of Euripides’ Herakles’ (supervisor: Fiona Macintosh). It was subsequently published as The Reception and Performance of Euripides’  Herakles: Reasoning Madness (Oxford University Press, 2008). She is author of the authorized biography Nigel Hawthorne on Stage (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2004) and The Astaires: Fred and Adele (Oxford University Press, US, 2012). The latter was included in the Wall Street Journal’s Best Non-Fiction 2012. From 2007 to 2009 she was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics and Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. She is now a freelance writer, theatre historian and critic. She was Script Consultant on the critically acclaimed production My Perfect Mind which had its London premiere at the Young Vic in 2013. Her current projects include a book exploring the ancient Greek concept of Nostos (homecoming) and its manifestations in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and drama.

Hannah Silverblank

Hannah Silverblank's DPhil researched ancient literary instances of the monstrous voice and its relationship to the articulation of gender in tragedy, epic, and comedy. She received a BA in Comparative Literature and Latin from Haverford College in the United States in 2012, and in 2013 she completed the MSt at Oxford in Classical Languages and Literature with a focus on Classical Reception. Hannah has written on Anne Carson’s Antigonick, Jean Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy, and the problems of the receptions of the ancient myth of the Sirens in opera and American popular music. 

Avery Willis

Avery Willis completed her thesis in 2005: 'Euripides' Trojan Women: A 20th-Century War Play in Performance' (supervisor: Oliver Taplin). Since finishing her doctorate, Avery has been writing and working professionally in the theatre with the director, Peter Sellars.

Amanda Wrigley

Amanda Wrigley completed her thesis with the Open University in 2009 on 'Engagements with Greek Drama and Homeric Epic on BBC Radio in the 1940s and 1950s' (supervisors: Lorna Hardwick, Oliver Taplin). Amanda was Researcher at the APGRD and editor of the APGRD database of modern performances of ancient drama from 2001 to 2009. She is co-editor of Dionysus Since 69: Greek Tragedy at the Dawn of the Third Millennium (Oxford University Press, 2004), and Aristophanes in Performance: Peace, Birds and Frogs, 421 BC-AD 2007 (Legenda, 2007). Her book Performing Greek Drama in Oxford and on Tour with the Balliol Players was published by Exeter University Press. She was Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Northwestern 2009-2010 and is currently a research associate at the University of Westminster.

Alessandra Zanobi

Alessandra Zanobi completed her thesis in 2008 on 'Seneca's Tragedies and the Aesthetics of Pantomime' at the University of Durham (supervisor: Edith Hall). She has a chapter on Seneca and ancient pantomime in New Directions in Ancient Pantomime (Oxford University Press, 2008) and one on Martha Graham and Pina Bausch in The Ancient Dancer in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2010).