Dr Victoria Leonard
My research focuses on the late antique and early medieval western Mediterranean, with a special interest in religion, historiography, gender, and the body. My doctorate (Cardiff, 2014) examined imperial authority and divine providence in Orosius’s Historiae adversus paganos, exploring Orosius’s historiographical approach to the deconstruction and reconstruction of a narrative of the past through the prism of Christianity. This research is the foundation for a monograph, In Defiance of History: Orosius and the Unimproved Past. As a research associate at the ICS, I will complete this monograph which is under contract for Routledge. I co-organised the conference ‘Bodily Fluids/Fluid Bodies in Greek and Roman Antiquity’, which was held at Cardiff University in July 2016. I will co-edit with Dr Laurence Totelin the proceedings for the volume Bodily Fluids/Fluid Bodies in Greek and Roman Antiquity. I am a founding member, former co-chair, and steering committee member of the Women’s Classical Committee. I teach across the disciplines of ancient history, archaeology, and religious studies, and I am continuing my education as a welsh learner.
Dr Ellie Mackin
My work focuses on archaic and classical Greek religion. I am working on a project looking at the mediation between civic and personal religion in early Greece. Currently I’m looking at the (Great) Panathenaia from an object and experience-based perspective, using the frame of religious Materialism. The starting point for the study is the Parthenon Frieze, and mapping the image onto what we might understand about the sensory experience of the festival.
Alongside that, I’m working on finishing up my first monograph, provisionally titled Reciprocity and Death: Underworld Gods in Early Greek Religion. This examines Underworld gods in the archaic and classical periods, and broadly argue that they're not as malefic or marginal as they are sometimes portrayed (in later sources and scholarship), and is based on my doctoral research.
Most broadly, I’m interested in people and the objects they have and use, and how their religious practices fit into their normal, everyday lives.
Dr Beth Munro
My research focuses on the architectural design and recycling of late Roman villas – how their conceived design affects function, and how the dismantling and reprocessing of villa architecture became an important feature at the end of antiquity. I completed my DPhil (PhD) at Oxford, and my thesis identified and examined on-site workshops, which were used to recycle glass, metal, and stone taken from 4th-6th century AD villas in Italy. This research demonstrated the technological process of recycling and examined the remains of installations and hoarded materials at villas. In a subsequent one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship, supported by the Canada Research Chair in Roman Archaeology, I expanded the geographical scope of this research by examining villas with recycling facilities in France, Spain, and Portugal, and further exposed the consistency in recycling programmes and technology in late antiquity. This showed that the recuperation and reprocessing of architectural materials was an organised and systematic activity, and challenged the notion of ‘squatters’ at villas in late antiquity. I have published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology and numerous other volumes. I am currently working on a book, which draws together three facets of research on late Roman villas - architectural design, recycling, and landownership – to show that the villa was crucial to the physical construction of the post-Roman landscape.
Dr Janet Powell
My principal research interest is the economy of fourth-century BC Athens, principally the interrelation of small scale day to day economic transactions. My current project is an analysis of Xenophon’s use of numbers in the Poroi. My initial investigation seeks to understand Xenophon’s specific numerical choices in a text which uses many numbers in outlining his ambitious scheme to improve Athenian finances. The second stage will be to consider the implications for our understanding of the way that Athenians could budget and make financial forecasts in their large-scale undertakings and could communicate these amongst themselves.
This study stems from my PhD thesis, Xenophon’s Poroi : Risk, Rationality and Enterprise in Fourth-century Attica. Xenophon has frequently been charged with naïveté and even subversiveness, but his rich text has lots to tell us about the ancient capacity for economically rational decision-making as well as the Athenian use of honours in the promotion of commerce. I particularly focussed on Xenophon’s understanding of financial, physical and socially constructed risks, in order to understand Athenian recognition and mitigation of risk, and I will be preparing a monograph based on this research during my research associateship.
Dr Holly Ranger
My research interests lie at the intersection between critical theory, classical scholarship, and creative practice, with a focus on the ‘difference made’ by feminist scholarship on the reading, translating, and rewriting of ancient texts. I have recently been awarded a doctorate for my thesis ‘The Feminine Ovidian Tradition’, which surveyed the interrelation between feminist scholarship and classical reception in the work of four women writers active between 1950 and the present. My publications have examined Ovidian allusion in the work of Saviana Stanescu, Sylvia Plath, and Ali Smith, and current projects explore the new ways in which we can read ancient texts via the relatively unexamined feminine classical tradition. As a Research Associate at the ICS I will begin preparations for a new post-doctoral project, establishing the personal, social, and intellectual milieus of women classical scholars and creative practitioners in the UK in the 1950s. In partnership with colleagues, I also hope to host a conference for postgraduates and early career researchers at the ICS with the aim of strengthening the community of reception scholars working at the intersection between classics and feminism.
Dr Julietta Steinhauer
My main research areas are religion, migration and cross-cultural exchange in the Hellenistic period. I am currently working on a project which examines the social dynamics of migration that occurred following the migration of people from the Levant to Greece during the second and early first centuries BCE. In this project I consider the social implications of migration for individuals and the ways in which migration affected them, both as initiators of the migration process and in particular as dependants. The main focus of my work lies in the ways in which people who migrated took up opportunities to create networks, both long- and short-term, to cope with their new environments and their lived experience during the migration process. Such individual processes of migration can be followed up in the epigraphic records such as public dedications, inventory lists of and dedications at sanctuaries, inscriptions on grave stelai and from other public records. The implications of the migration process for dependants and in particular for people on the margins of society such as women and slaves have rarely been examined. With this project I address larger questions of social and gender history as well as cross-cultural exchange in the Mediterranean in the last century before the establishment of the Roman hegemony. My aim is, to tell the life-stories of otherwise marginalised individuals that have experienced the process of migration for a variety of reasons, and the ways in which they created new spaces and networks in the process.