Non-Stipendiary Research Fellows

Dr Emma Bridges

Emma Bridges




Emma Bridges joined the ICS as Public Engagement Fellow in September 2017. After an undergraduate degree in Classics at Oxford, she completed her PhD at the University of Durham. Prior to moving to the ICS Emma was a Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University, where she worked to make classical subjects available to those with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. She brings to the ICS her experience in making academic research accessible to audiences beyond academia, and to those for whom Classics has not traditionally been available as a course of study, as well as her commitment to fostering conversation and collaboration between academics and wider communities.

Emma’s published research focuses on the ancient and modern receptions of the Persian Wars; her first book, Imagining Xerxes: Ancient Perspectives on a Persian King, looks at ways in which Xerxes was reimagined in a variety of ancient literary and historical contexts. She is also responsible for conducting a series of interviews for the online open access journal Practitioners’ Voices in Classical Reception Studies, with a particular focus on contemporary reworkings of ancient myths. Her current research project brings together her interests in the depiction of armed conflict and the reception of ancient myth by exploring the ways in which the experiences of soldiers’ wives depicted in the Homeric poems and Athenian tragedy relate to those of modern-day ‘military wives’.


Dr Abigail Graham

Abigail Graham has a BA in Greek and Latin Language from Colgate University, and after attaining her M. Phil and D. Phil in Classical Archaeology from Oxford (Lincoln College). She has been a lecturer and teaching fellow at the University of Warwick for 10 years, where she taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses. Abigail is course coordinator of the Postgraduate Epigraphy Course at the British School in Rome (since 2012), and co-coordinator of the Practical Epigraphy Workshop (since 2015) for the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (Oxford), is a member of the editorial board for the “New Classicists” online journal.

She joined the ICS as a visiting fellow and is currently a non-stipendiary Fellow in order to focus on her research, which applies modern scholarship on cognitive theory and neuroscience to the appearance and perception of ancient monuments in the urban landscape (particularly in Asia Minor), including a monograph on “reading” monuments in Ephesus, and an co-edited volume on the cognitive experience of rituals. These works consider the presentation of writing in the urban landscape through different visual aspects such as paratext, bilingualism, erasures, copies, and collective monuments (e.g. lists and “archives”).

In the past, she has collaborated with Digital Humanities projects such as INSAPH (Inscriptions of Aphrodisias) and the EAGLE portal. In addition to articles and book chapters, she has written a primer on Roman history and material culture, “The Romans” (Routledge); the 4th edition of which is scheduled for publication at the end of 2019.


Dr Victoria Leonard, FRHistS 

Victoria Leonard joined the ICS as a Research Associate in 2017, and became a Research Fellow in 2020. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities at Coventry University. Before her appointment at Coventry, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher as part of the ERC-funded project ‘Connected Clerics. Building a Universal Church in the Late Antique West (380-604 CE)’, at Royal Holloway, University London and the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH-ÖAW), Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften). Her role within the project involved compiling data on clerical connections and using adapted digital tools to examine and visualize evolving clerical networks in the late ancient and early medieval western Mediterranean.

Victoria’s research focuses on the late antique and early medieval western Mediterranean, with a special interest in: social network analysis, data collection and digital humanities; ancient and early medieval historiography; ancient religion, particularly Christianity; and gender, sexuality, violence, and theories of the body in antiquity. Victoria has published articles in the journals Vigiliae Christianae, Studies in Late Antiquity, and Gender and History. Her monograph, In Defiance of History: Orosius and the Unimproved Past, is under contract with Routledge. With Laurence Totelin and Mark Bradley, Victoria is editing the volume Bodily Fluids in Antiquity for Routledge. She has written for The Guardian and The Times Higher Education, and she has contributed to BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking. Victoria is a founding member, former co-chair, and steering committee member of the Women’s Classical Committee (UK). She organises #WCCWiki which seeks to improve the representation of women classicists (broadly conceived) on Wikipedia.


Miss Simona Stoyanova

Simona Stoyanova joined the ICS as a non-stipendiary Research Fellow in March 2019. She currently works as a Research Associate on the epigraphic database of the ERC LatinNOW project based at the University of Nottingham.

After a BA in Classical Philology from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria, she pursued an MA in Classics and Digital Humanities at King's College London. She has worked in the field of Digital Classics since graduation, starting as a student assistant at KCL on two major digital epigraphy projects - Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica and IOSPE: Ancient Inscriptions of the Northern Black Sea, among others. In 2013 she joined the Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig to work on the Open Greek and Latin (OGL) project as part of the Perseus Digital Library, and the research projects Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (DFHG) and Digital Marmor Parium. She returned to London in 2016 to work on IOSPE once more and later joined the ICS as a Research Fellow in Library and Information Science on the Cataloguing Open Access Classics Serials project (COACS).

She teaches classes and workshops on digital scholarly editing and textual criticism and digital encoding for epigraphy and papyrology, and provides TEI XML and EpiDoc consultancy for digitisation and electronic publishing of Ancient and Mediaeval primary sources. She is a co-author of the EpiDoc Guidelines for XML encoding of ancient documents.

Simona is currently pursuing a part-time PhD in Classics and Digital Humanities at King's College London on the palaeography of Greek and Latin inscriptions in the province of Thrace, and its exploration and presentation through a customised Archetype framework for epigraphers.

Dr Valeria Vitale

Valeria Vitale



Valeria Vitale joined the ICS in January 2017 as a Research Fellow on the A. W. Mellon funded project Pelagios Commons, for which she worked as Community Manager and part of the investigative team. After her degree in Communication Science awarded by La Sapienza University in Rome, she worked for several years on the study and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, with major Italian cultural institutions. In 2012 she graduated with an MA  in Digital Humanities at King’s College London, where she also completed her PhD on the use of Linked Open Data to document 3D visualisations of ancient cultural heritage. Her case study was the Temple of Isis in Pompeii, its variant restoration hypotheses and multiple cultural interpretations. Her doctoral research involved the development of a documentation standard for scholarly 3D visualisation called SCO3CH.

She has an extensive experience in teaching 3D tools and methods to humanists and showing how spatial technologies can enhance the study and understanding of the Past. Valeria has also collaborated with various digital projects that focus on ancient geography, including the Heritage gazetteer of Cyprus, i.Sicily, the Pleiades Gazetteer and  the Heritage Gazetteer of Libya. She co-directed the CALCS (Cross-cultural AfterLife of Classical Sites) project in 2016.