Current PhD Students in Classics

Grace Atwood

Obscurity Has Another Tale to Tell: The Reception and Modification of Latin Literary Models in Ireland during the early Middle Ages

Early Medieval Irish literary and intellectual culture was shaped by the reception and re-elaboration of Late Antique literature and educational practices. Against this background, a vibrant corpus of Hiberno-Latin texts began to develop a highly unusual, obscure style known as ‘Hisperic’. This research questions the context, development, and motivations underlying textual obscurity in Hiberno-Latin and Irish vernacular materials between the seventh and ninth centuries. Using as comparanda texts from other Medieval Latin traditions, it re-considers the attribution of ‘Hisperic’ materials to an Irish provenance and aims to provide insight into the relationship between Ireland the wider scholarly milieu of the early Middle Ages.

 Email: g.attwood1@nuigalway.ie
Supervisor: Dr Jacopo Bisagni
Funding: Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2017–2021)

Michael Doherty

The use and representation of Classical themes and imagery in Victorian art as part of a colonial discourse on Empire

This thesis offers a postcolonial analysis of the representation of Classical subjects in Victorian art. Its contention is that in the mid- to late nineteenth century themes and imagery from Antiquity were appropriated in high art as part of an ongoing discourse that promoted, celebrated and problematized racial, cultural and political ideologies prevalent within the British Empire. Within this discourse Hellenic Ideals and Idealism, in particular, became privileged cultural codes in relation to artistic style and literary canon, and gave academic credence to theories of European racial superiority. Edward Said's Orientalism proposed that non-Western cultures simply became objects of study rendered through the mediating focus of the West as primitive and 'other'. Through my study of paintings by artists such as Frederic Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Edwin Long this discourse becomes unsettled as we see Classical Greeks and Romans portrayed as both familiar and exoticised, civilized and primal.

E-mail: m.doherty2@nuigalway.ie 
Supervisor: Michael Clarke 
Funding: NUI Galway College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Fellowship (2013–2014); Irish Research Council (2014–2017)

Ioannis Doukas

A Trojan Cycle for Late Antiquity: Towards a Digital Intertextual Commentary

This research project focuses on three late Greek epic poems: the Posthomerica by Quintus of Smyrna, The Sack of Troy by Triphiodorus and The Abduction of Helen by Colluthus (ca. 2nd-6thcentury AD). These are all re-workings of the Epic Cycle and relate the events which either precede or follow the Iliad. Within the context of their recent scholarly re-evaluation, they will be closely examined in terms of their interdependence with earlier texts. With the assistance of digital methods and techniques, instances of intertextuality will be identified and analysed. The final output of the project will include an electronic resource, conceived and built as a born-digital commentary, focusing on the visual representation of intertextuality.

E-mail: indoukas@gmail.com 
Supervisors: Michael Clarke, Pádraic Moran 
Funding: Digital Arts and Humanities Structured PhD Scholarship (2014–2018)

Charles Doyle

The transmission and reception of Pre-Socratic thought in medieval Irish scholarship

The purpose of this project is to investigate the legacy of Pre-Socratic philosophy in the context of early medieval Irish scholarship and philosophy. The Pre-Socratics were the foundation of Greek philosophy and would go on to have a lasting influence on philosophy for centuries afterwards. This project will examine the legacy of Pre-Socratic thought on physics, cosmology and ontology in the Early Middle Ages, with a particular focus on early medieval Hiberno-Latin sources including Liber de Ordine CreaturarumDe Mirabilibus Sanctae Scripturae, and on the works of Johannes Scotus Eriugena, the 9th century Irish philosopher and theologian.

E-mail: charlesoduill@gmail.com 
Supervisors: Michael Clarke, Pádraic Moran 
Funding: Galway Doctoral Fellowship (2014–2015), Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship  (2015–2018)

Noémi Farkas

Intertextuality and ideology in Sedulius Scottus,De rectoribus christianis  

The ninth century Carolingian political treatise, De rectoribus christianis (On Christian rulers), written by Irish scholar Sedulius Scottus, belongs among the most prominent of medieval literary contributions to Western thought. Its twenty chapters instruct an unidentified ruler on morals and governance, embracing the foremost intellectual and ideological concepts that laid the foundations of the Carolingian world. This PhD project will investigate the literary, intellectual and ideological frameworks Sedulius developed in his text, providing the first detailed analysis of its contents and full appreciation of its cultural contexts.

E-mail: n.farkas1@nuigalway.ie
Supervisor: Pádraic Moran
Funding: Galway Doctoral Fellowship (2017–2021)

Micheál Geoghegan

Generational tensions in classical Athens: a problem for the citizen self-image, and an aspect of female suppression within the patriarchy 

It has long been established that the Ancient Greeks, or more specifically the adult male citizens of classical Athens, defined their sense of collective identity through the construction of binary oppositions with groups of non-citizen “others”: namely women, slaves, metics and foreign “barbarians”, all of whom were typically regarded as lacking in, or incapable of achieving, the higher levels of rational thought and self-control that defined the citizen male.  The exclusionary nature of this self-image is captured in the title of Paul Cartledge’s seminal work, The Greeks: A Portrait of Self & Others

My research project seeks to examine representations of the behaviour of young men, as a subgroup of the privileged male citizenry, in the literature and material culture of classical Athens.  It posits the theory that a general anxiety – on the part of the older, governing generation – about the younger man’s capacity for supposedly un-Greek excesses of sex and violence was instrumental in forming attitudes towards a maligned and repressed “other” group that accounted for roughly half of the population of the Athenian polis: women.    

E-mail: m.geoghegan1@nuigalway.ie
Supervisor: Edward Herring
Funding: Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2016–2020)

Ann Hurley

 The Anonymous Excidium Troiae: Its importance as a didactic question-and-answer text and its reception and intertextuality in later vernacular literature

This project examines the Excidium Troiae, an anonymous text, dated to the 6th century, which details the story of the battle of Troy up to the introduction of the wooden horse and the destruction of the city.  It then follows the escape of Aeneas from Troy, his travels and eventual landing near Rome and the founding of the city of Rome. It is an educational question-and-answer text which is significant for its mythological content as well as for the insight it gives into medieval education. It is also important because of its reception in later vernacular literature. The Troy narrative has been of fundamental importance in the national and cultural identification of so many Western European Nations as is clearly evidenced by its pivotal place among their pseudo-histories and foundation myths.

E-mail: a.hurley1@nuigalway.ie 
Supervisor: Michael Clarke
Funding: Galway Doctoral Research Scholarship (2015–2016), Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2016–2019)

Erin McKinney

Linguistic Code-Switching in Bethu Brigte, the Old Irish Life of St Brigit

(Details to follow.)

E-mail: e.mckinney1@nuigalway.ie
Supervisor: Jacopo Bisagni

Classics PhDs Recently Completed

Dr Jason O’Rorke (2017)

Voice of Ancients: An examination of verbal diathesis and its didactic practices in Latin grammars from Late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages

My research analyses the theory and the terminology of verbal diathesis in Latin grammatical treatises of the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages (3rd–10th century AD). Furthermore, it examines the didactic methods employed by Latin grammarians to lead their students (and, more generally, their readers) through the intricacies of grammatical theory. The thorough investigation of these teaching techniques should improve our understanding of Ancient and Early Medieval linguistic education and language learning.

E-mail: j.ororke1@nuigalway.ie 
Supervisor: Jacopo Bisagni 
Funding: NUI Galway College of Arts and Social Science Fellowship (2010–2011), Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2011–2014)

Dr Sarah Corrigan (2017)

The sea in early medieval Hiberno-Latin and latinate literature: Cosmological problem and imaginative resource

This research project is investigating conceptualisations of the sea in Ireland as evidenced by Hiberno-Latin and Latinate writings from the sixth to early ninth centuries. It explores the ability of the sea to accommodate a broad range of diverse conceptualisations and allegorical assignations. It also examines the unique perspectives of the sea found in Ireland as a consequence of its insular nature and its location at the very edge of what was, at that time, the known world.

E-mail: smlcorrigan@gmail.com
Supervisor: Michael Clarke
Funding: NUIG College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Doctoral Fellowship (2009–2011), Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2011–2013)

Publications:
Corrigan, S. (2013–2014) ‘Hisperic Enigma machine: sea creatures and sources in the Hisperica famina’, Peritia, 24/25, pp. 58–72.

Dr Peter Kelly (2016)

Synthesizing identity and text in Ovid’s Metamorphoses

This work examines Ovid’s portrayal of identity and its relationship with the text in the Metamorphoses. Through analysing a number of myths from the Metamorphoses this work shows how Ovid explores the fracturing of identity in relation to the body, voice and visual image of a person, while also demonstrating how Ovid uses the text as a metaphor for the self as the authorial voice enters the echo-chamber of intertextuality.

E-mail: pkelly131@gmail.com 
Academia.edu: https://dahphd.academia.edu/PeterKelly
Supervisor: Michael Clarke 
Funding: NUI Galway Hardiman Fellowship, Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2011– )

Publications:
Kelly, P. 2017 (forthcoming). ‘Compounding Compound Creatures: The Catalogue of Hybrids in Tristia 4.7 and Empedocles’, Mnemosyne.

Kelly, P. 2017 (forthcoming). ‘Intersexuality and Intertextuality: Hermaphroditus and the Early Universe in Ovid’s Metamorphoses’, in: Surtees, A., Dyer, J. (eds.) Gender B(l)ending in Greek and Roman Culture and Society.

Kelly, P. 2017 (forthcoming). ‘Tears and Liquefaction: Corporeal Permeability in  Ovid’s Metamorphoses’, in: Leonard, V, Totelin, L. (eds.) Bodily Fluids / Fluid Bodies.

Kelly, P. 2014. ‘Voices Within Ovid’s House of Fama’, Mnemosyne 67, 65-92. 

Kelly, P. 2012. ‘Appropriating Identity in the Houses of Rumour and Fame’,Imbas Journal 2, 1-28.

Dr Francesca Bezzone (2013)

Deconstructing the Man, creating the Saint: The literary sanctification of Saint Germanus in the Vita Germani Auctore Constantio

This study is centred on the analysis of the evolving figure of Saint Germanus in the Vita Germani Auctore Constantio, from mortal, mundane man at the beginning of the text to fully sanctified figure in its last chapters. My aim is to propose a new reading of the text, based on literary, semantic, liturgical and theological analysis, where the sanctification of Germanus is made all the more evident through intra-textual details and inter-textual comparisons with other hagiographies of the time, such as the Vita Martini, the Vita Amatoris and the hagiographical work of Jerome.

Email: f.bezzone1@nuigalway.ie 
Supervisor: Mark Stansbury

Dr Adelia Greer (2015)

Xenophon and the ancient Greek cavalry horse: an equestrian perspective

Email: a.greer1@nuigalway.ie 
Supervisor: Edward Herring

Dr Eóin O'Donoghue (2011)

Remember me when I am gone away: An examination of the representation of gender in the material culture of archaic Etruria

The study of the lives of men and women in ancient Greece and Rome has attracted scholarly attention. However, there has been a comparative neglect of the study of gender identities in the world of the Etruscans. It was the purpose of this thesis to partially rectify this situation through the examination of the gender identities of men and women from Archaic Etruria (c. 600–450 BC). Unlike most previous scholarship on gender the approach employed was not grounded in feminist thought, instead the aim was to seek to analyse the differences in the roles, activities and identities of men and women during this time. The apparent power of Etruscan women was carefully analysed, it was shown that while they had many significant public roles and duties, they were performed within the framework of a hegemonic masculine society. The public and private identities of men were examined within their social and political environment.

The evidence employed was primarily artistic. As well as explaining the respective roles of men and women the evidence was considered in its environmental, regional, and historical setting. This allowed for the understanding of gender roles in the respective regions of Etruria at different points during the period examined, and significantly how gender as a medium of social difference was used in their civilisation.

E-mail: eoinmod@gmail.com 
Supervisor: Edward Herring 
Funding: College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Postgraduate Fellowship

Dr Anastasia Remoundou-Howley (2011)

Palimpsests of Antigone: Contemporary Irish versions of Sophocles’ tragedy

My thesis explores the reception of Sophocles’ Antigone in contemporary Irish drama with works by Aidan Carl Mathews (Antigone1984), Tom Paulin (The Riot Act 1984), Brendan Kennelly (Antigone 1984), Conall Morrison (Antigone 2003), Seamus Heaney (The Burial at Thebes 2004), Stacey Gregg (Ismene 2007), and Owen McCafferty (Antigone 2008). The creative synergy between original text and adaptation, from page to stage, is symptomatic of an archipelago of literary and philosophical responses to Antigonean discourses which reroute politics and ethics into a current critique that extends far beyond the field of Classical studies. Through the lens of inherited interpretations and postmodern theorizations, with which all of these writers are familiar, I seek to demonstrate that the implications of Antigone’s mourning act, in the text and through performance, can be read as tropes for a post-humanist discussion redirected into the political sphere. In this way, these Irish adaptations, written in response to modern national and international tragedies, contest notions as varied and complex as ’agency’, ’representation’ versus ’disappearance’, ’mourning’, ’democracy’, ’law’, ’violence’, ’cultural identity’, ’gender’, ’mothering’, ’kinship’, ’war’, ’suffering’, ’memory’, ’trauma’, and the defense of human rights by revisiting Ireland’s violent historical past and redefining its role in the present beyond the narrow interpretative borders of an assumed anti-colonial terrain. I therefore submit that by reimaging itself as Other on Antigone’s legitimate space, the stage, and textually, these Irish playwrights, from the North and the South of the island, challenge Western logocentrism and democratic ideals from within by refiguring Antigone’s defiance as a protest against injustices inside the boundaries of their country and in the world at large. The contexts through which Antigone is palimpsestuously re-inscribed within Irish theatre exemplifies a metaphora (as ’transposition and as ’translation’) into new spaces and new possibilities of an agonistic pluralism that, being political, liberates Antigone from the confines sanctioned by Classical tradition. Antigone thus returns on the Irish stage since 1984 as the autonomous individual against the state, as the worn-out anti-heroine and mock-sacrificial martyr perpetually vanishing from the final act (Mathews), as a Republican rebel (Paulin), as a feminist icon (Kennelly), as an avenger/suicide bomber (Morrison), as a human rights defender (Heaney), as displaced by her sister Ismene (Gregg), and as a mothering pacifist in post-conflict Northern Ireland (McCafferty).

E-mail: tasharem@hotmail.com 
Supervisor: Brian Arkins