Research Associates

Dr (des) Erica Angliker 

My research interest focuses on Greek religion, which I approach from different viewpoints. In my PhD thesis, which I recently successfully defended at the University of Zurich, I presented the first comprehensive study of the veneration of heroes and gods in the Cycladic archipelago (Delos included) between the Archaic and Classical periods. In my interpretation of archaeological materials, inscriptions, and literary sources, I have drawn on new theoretical approaches to island studies that go beyond the consideration of islands as components of an interconnected network (Island studies is another field of great interest to me). I am also deeply engaged in archaeological research in the Cyclades and I am currently a scientific member of the excavations at the sanctuary Despotiko, in the region of Paros. My research interest further includes cults held outside the polis (e.g. in caves, mountains, lakes, rivers, etc.), cults practiced by small, unofficial groups not necessarily linked to the polis (e.g. by shepherds and travellers), and the representation of islands on medieval and modern maps and travel logs. As a research associate at ICS, I will work on the publication of my PhD thesis as a book. I will also work on the publication of groups of objects from the sanctuary of Despotiko and/or the Delion on Paros. And lastly, I will initiate a new research project about cult practices outside the polis.

Dr Rhiannon Easterbrook 

My main area of research is in the reception of classical antiquity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My PhD (Bristol, 2018) investigated how new theatrical productions in this period staged the intrusion of antiquity into the present. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and conducting extensive archival research, I focused on the ways in which these plays, musicals, ballets and revues dealt with the themes of gender and sexuality, social hierarchies and transactional relationships. When I held the Women in the Humanities Postdoctoral Writing Fellowship at the University of Oxford, I published an article drawn from this work in the Classical Receptions Journal, entitled 'Merrie Arcadia: staging the pastoral in the age of the Clarion socialist movement'. I am currently revising the thesis as a whole for publication.

Building on the findings in my doctorate, I have become increasingly interested in the effect of consumer culture on the classical tradition and in other materialist approaches. I was fortunate enough to explore these new interests in material and visual culture during an Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellowship. Current related projects include articles on portrayals of the satyr in Edwardian consumer culture and reworkings of the peplos in the light of changes to copyright law. I am also developing a postdoctoral project on Classicism and Fetishism in the nineteenth century.


Dr Andreas Gavrielatos

My research focuses on the effects of multilingualism on the lives of people and in particular on one aspect of their identities, so prominent and at the same time easy to miss: their personal names. I am working on a contribution to modern theories on onomastics, and I focus on how personal names of the peoples in the western provinces of the Roman Empire change over time both as lexical items and as cultural vehicles, revealing social and individual preferences and changes. In a similar line of thought, my PhD thesis explored these preferences in the personal names of Gallo-Roman terra sigillata potters. I am currently working towards including case studies of multilingual onomastics from all western Roman provinces and expanding the observations and the conclusions of my thesis, aiming to a monograph on the relation between language contacts and Roman personal names across the Roman west in the 1st-3rd c. A.D.

I am also working on Neronian literature, especially Persius’ Satires and Seneca’s Epistles. I am completing a commentary on Persius’ satires. Its basic scope is the elucidation of new aspects of the text from the perspective that instead of being merely an imitator of Horace, Persius’s own innovations are unique, constituting an excellent example of Stoic poetics inextricably intertwined with social criticism.

Dr Elisa Groff

My research interests concern the interaction between medicine, gender and religion in different cultural contexts of health and beyond stereotypes. My research is dedicated to addressing issues of physical, mental and social wellbeing in relation to women’s sexuality, ageing, nutrition and infant mortality through the interpretation of shifting patterns of health conditions and therapies. My doctorate (Exeter, 2019) examined aspects of women’s wellbeing in relation to sexuality and reproduction in sixth-century Byzantine Christianity. The work was experimental, since my methodology was grounded in ancient hagiographical accounts and contemporary medical writings, and in the WHO categories of sexual and reproductive health.

As a research associate at the ICS, I will work on the publication of my doctoral thesis that has been selected for the First ReMeDHe Book Workshop in May 2020 in Chicago. I will also work on a few forthcoming contributions for edited books dealing e.g. with women’s genital surgical procedures in cosmetic treatises, sexual violence in narratives of both ancient and modern female martyrdom, and investigating the linkage between female sexuality and ageing. The focus of my work lies in the divulgation of scientific and religious knowledge from antiquity into later times. As a trained classicist and human osteologist with working experience in funerary excavations and in the morgue, I am committed to bridging the gap between historians and medical professionals. Therefore, I am extremely keen to engage with academic and non-academic groups in higher education and public talks in order to deliver research themes which are relevant to people and patient groups.

Dr Ellie Mackin Roberts 

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.

Dr Polly Stoker 

My work responds to creative engagements with classical literature in modern and contemporary writing, especially women’s receptions of Homeric epic and Greek drama. My doctoral research made the case for the significance of the female reader to classical reception studies, and I suggest the reading and rewriting of Virginia Woolf as an ideal starting point from which to re-orientate the field. Woolf ‘s complicated classicism intimates a new way to conceptualize the female reader beyond the now familiar, and more straightforwardly feminist, models of rescue, rehabilitation, and resistance.
My postdoctoral work takes the emergent female reader as the provocation for revisiting and rethinking classical reception as a set of creative and critical practices, mindful of the irony, ambivalence, and indeterminacy that seems to characterize women writers’ relationships with the classical past. I am currently reworking the key findings of my thesis as a monograph with the working title: ‘“Laughing as she cried”: Reading Homer from the Trenches’. The book I am planning has two main objectives: one is to make the case that a significant number of late modern and contemporary writers continue to look back to Homer via his reception during and in response to the First World War. The second is to model a new practice for classical reception, which I call ‘reading with’. This involves a new look at the idea of a ‘dialogue’ between old and new that dominates current reception studies.