Classics newsletter Expansion and Change Maria Wyke

Classics newsletter
November 2012 | Issue 10
Expansion and Change
Maria Wyke
Remarkably, this has been another year of growth for UCL
Greek & Latin. Since I arrived at the university in October 2005,
the number of our permanent academic staff has gone up from
8 ½ to 11 (the ½ was not a small person but a share). We
have also seen an increase in student numbers (especially
among undergraduates and PhDs), which is especially
welcome now that the new fees regime is beginning to kick in.
Leventis Foundation. As a result, for the next four years, we
shall be able to host a post-doctoral research fellow in Greek
Literature and run international conferences, workshops for
schools, cultural events and other public activities centred
on our research in ancient Greek culture. This is a wonderful
opportunity which we are embracing energetically – do watch
out for details on our website.
We said goodbye this year to a few staff and fellows, several
of whom were moving on and up in the university world. Two
were heroic veterans of this department (Amanda Cater and
Matthew Robinson), and were well-known to many of you for
their warmth and good humour. So while we wish them, and
our wonderfully patient administrator Joanna Fryer, bon voyage,
we are also delighted to welcome aboard our new Department
Administrators (Mary
Moloney and Loraine
Daly), two lecturers
(Peter Agocs and
Mairéad McAuley),
and two teaching
and research fellows
(Antony Makrinos
and Rosa Andújar).
It is just as well that
we have a large and
bright new staffroom
in the basement to
help accommodate
us all.
In the last newsletter, I was delighted to report the promotions
of both Miriam Leonard and Gesine Manuwald to professorships.
This year, I can report that both their inaugural lectures
(when new professors have the tricky task of displaying the
importance of their research to other academics, students,
members of the public, and even their own families) were
full to bursting and very instructive to listen to.
This year we also
refurbished our
student ‘social spaces’
(do take a look at ‘Putting your Donations to Use’. p.4).
Colourful sofas and stools now sit alongside the benches
where new up-to-date computers are being installed. I am
not entirely surprised, though, at how fondly some of the
current users of the rooms still talk about the old dilapidated
setup. Let’s hope that ten years down the road, G&L students
hold equally happy memories of these bright red, green and
orange spaces. We are very excited to have received a very
generous grant from the A.G.
On the pages that
follow you will find
reports on some of
the many activities
staff and students
have undertaken this
year in their common
aim to understand
and to explain
classical antiquity
– from special
events to our regular
Greek play production
at the Bloomsbury.
It has, as ever, been
an action-packed
year, and we are very
grateful indeed to Emmanuela Bakola for piecing together
some of its details for you to read here.
This is the last Newsletter which I front as Head of Department.
I now hand over to Gesine Manuwald. I know that the UCL
Department of Greek & Latin will be exceptionally well
looked after by her over the course of the next five years
and that it will continue to be a wonderful and exceptional
place in which to research, teach and learn.
UCL Classics and the London Olympics:
Olympics 2012 and the classical world
Chris Carey
The Olympics come to London
on average once every 64 years.
It will be quite some time before
they come back. So we had a
rare opportunity this summer to
showcase the classical background
of a riveting modern international
phenomenon. With this in mind
UCL Greek and Latin took the lead
in organizing a series of events
worthy of the London games. We
worked with the British Museum to
put together a consortium of cultural
and academic bodies in the capital
to pool activities. And since activities
don’t come free we sought and
obtained funding from a wide range
of classical bodies, including Joint
Association of Classical Teachers,
the Hellenic and Roman Societies,
the Classical Association, Friends of
the Classics, Classics for All.
Ancient Egyptian or Greek? Fit Bodies
The result was a programme of
remarkable richness. We had
exhibitions (Sir John Soane’s
Museum on Stadia, The Petrie
Museum at UCL on Fit Bodies,
the charioteer from Motya in Sicily
at the British Museum). We had
conferences. The blockbuster was
a two day UCL/BM conference on
Sport and competition in the ancient
world, which included not just Greek
and Roman sport but also Etruscan
and Chinese; but there were also
conferences on Representing victory
at King’s College London and Athletic
Foundations: identity, heritage and
sport at the Open University. As well
as academic conferences we also
had lectures aimed at a wider public,
such as those at UCL by sports
historian Martin Polley and by
distinguished ancient historian Mary
Beard (herself a prizewinner at the
Much Wenlock Olympics as a young
girl) at the BM on the British Olympic
tradition; it is not always realized that
Britain has a long tradition of games
called Olympics which goes back
deep into the nineteenth century, far
beyond the refounding of the modern
games; this tradition played a major
role in inspiring the modern Olympic
movement. There were other public
lectures by Nigel Spivey and Michael
Scott on the modern rediscovery and
excavations of the festival sites at
Olympia and Delphi. One highlight
was the British Museum family
halfday of objects and activities
aimed at family groups. Another
was a panel of speakers (including
Edith Hall and Margaret Mountford)
at UCL (Olympic angles) which
discussed and debated ancient
and modern athletics under the
expert chairing of Paul Cartledge.
Yet another public dialogue was the
ancient and modern conversation
between distinguished neurologist
Professor Semir Zeki and classicist
Chris Carey. The British Academy
hosted a research day on ancient
athletics-related papyri followed by
an evening of public lectures. And
Brain Anatomy and the Ancient Olympics:
we collaborated with Cambridge
Press to generate an Olympics blog
and with the Guardian/Observer on a
multimedia online publication.
London, though the home of the
games, was not of course the only
place in Britain to host and organize
events centred on the ancient
background to the modern Olympics.
The classical community up and
down the country took the opportunity
to contribute to the understanding
of the larger historical context of the
The Universities of Leeds, Reading,
Edinburgh, Cambridge, St Andrews
and others offered lectures, public
events and exhibitions (altogether
the equivalent of about one cultural
event for every two days of Olympic/
Paralympic athletics) and part of the
role of London and UCL was to act
as information centre for this national
activity through an online calendar
of events hosted by website of the
Society for the Promotion of Roman
The games are now over. But we
have tried to capture some of the
richness of the programme which we
put in place. With the help of funding
from the Classical Association
we are creating longer lasting
educational resources. The lectures
were all filmed and will go the Open
University website. And study packs
drawing on video clips from the
events, texts and artefacts, devised
by Dimitra Kokkini of UCL, will be
placed on line so that there is a
more lasting educational benefit
from the summer Olympics cultural
programme. Anyone seeking
information should contact Chris
Carey (
The Olympics events at UCL:
Students’ Eye view on the
Olympic Events
Annette Mitchell
For three years I have been researching the relationship
between Freud and the Ancient World. This topic is categorised as Reception
Studies, a relatively new field in Classical Studies. The relationship between
Freud and the Ancient World is actually very well researched, so well that it is
impossible to keep up with all the literature. Classicists, however, tend to be
unaware of the majority of this work as it mainly comes from psychoanalytic
circles. In contrast the literature coming from Classical Studies can be counted
on one hand, and the main contributor, Richard Armstrong, usually publishes
his work in psychoanalytic journals. There is a problem then – interdisciplinary
work is unbalanced because conversation between disciplines is not occurring.
I found it curious then when one event, entitled The pursuit of Olympic ideals
– physical, neural and aesthetic, within a series exploring aspects of the
Ancient Olympics was a conversation between Professor Chris Carey and
the neuroscientist Professor Semir Zeki. Although not related to my research
directly, the fact that there was a discussion is positive regarding the opening
up of interdisciplinary conversation. Their discussion concerned Greek
athletic ideals, their realisation in the Ancient Olympics and how correlations
in functional brain anatomy explained this. For example the ancient Greek
athletes were ideally beautiful both morally and physically and were aiming
for a reward, and all these notions share a neuroanatomical processing area.
Discussions like this are rare, which is strange as they are very productive
and enlightening.
Chris Carey and Semir Zeki on The pursuit of Olympic Ideals
Another event called Olympic Angles presented the forgotten ancient roots
of the now modernised Olympics through a series of small presentations.
This event was not interdisciplinary but comparative, looking at the different
attitudes we have, in contrast to the ancient Greeks, towards cheating,
beauty, the conditions of the Games, and the different events. This event was
more ‘Reception Studies’ orientated and with these short talks issues about
race, gender and class were introduced. For example women did not attend
the ancient Games and it was only for upper class Greek competitors; it was
a veritable ‘Gentleman’s Club’. The event, therefore, approached the core of
Reception Studies: how the meaning of antiquity changes because it is used
in later times to express different things.
Antiquity is, simply put, a form of representation. This is something studying
Freud has clearly and continually shown me as I have studied the way that
Freud himself used antiquity for idiosyncratic expression. The phenomenon
Training, cheating, winning, praising:
athletes and shows in papyri from
Roman Egypt in partnership with the
British Academy
of representation is something that
is continually investigated in
psychoanalytic literature. Freud
generally has a bad reputation within
Classics. However, his insights about
the mind using aspects of literature,
art and other features of life to create
subjective realities seems to map
onto the representational ideology
of Reception Studies quite well.
This is something that could be
realised and positively integrated
by a better interdisciplinary
conversation between Classics and
This is important because the
lifespan of Reception Studies could
be limited by inattention to other
disciplines. If the reception of antiquity
is only seen from the perspective of
classicists, it risks becoming a
limited field. The perspective of
fields such as psychoanalysis needs
to be addressed for a well-balanced
respectful conversation to be
undertaken. The two events mentioned
show that interdisciplinary conversation
is potentially underway, as is the
realisation that retrospective symbolic
representation completely pervades
any study of the ancients.
Putting Your Donations To Use
Thanks to the generosity of G&L’s Alumni, we have been able to support
a whole array of worthy causes this year. A contribution by us to the
refurbishment of the undergraduate common room attracted more than
matching funds from our Faculty and UCL Estates. It and the new
postgraduate common room are now very colourful. A few posters and
some use will turn them both into very attractive and cosy social spaces.
We were able to fund eleven of our postgraduates to get to the annual
Classical Association conference (the most important UK event for airing
new research and meeting international experts), and help some of our
PhD students make trips to archives or attend conferences essential for
the development of their projects. This year’s Housman public lecture was
turned into a grand international event through the invitation over from the
United States of Professor Stephen Hinds (one of the world’s most celebrated
Latin scholars), who gave a fabulously rich talk on late antique games with
Ovid’s epic poetry. We employed an IT graduate to tinker with the design of
our webpages – take a look and see what you think. The department now
hopes to use a part of any future donations to provide bursaries for students
wishing to undertake MAs. With no support available from national funders,
they have been hardest hit by the increasingly costly fees regime.
Classics Day 2012
Gesine Manuwald
Bringing the Classics to the
Community: Outreach and
Public Engagement Events
Summer School, The world of Greek drama
Jenny Bryan
Since the Department is committed to making Classics as accessible and as
widely available as possible, it offered a summer school for year 12 students,
under the leadership of the Admissions Tutor Jenny Bryan, for the first time
in summer 2012. The school’s focus was on practical workshops on ancient
drama; to complement these, there were short taster sessions on ancient
language, literature, history, philosophy and the reception of the ancient world.
The sessions were run by some of the Department’s PhD students, who
enormously enjoyed the change and the challenge to do a bit of teaching of a
different kind. The students came from specifically targeted schools in
disadvantaged areas, and they were very happy to be given this insight into
the ancient world and into university life. In its first year this kind of summer
school (in addition to the well established London Summer School with a focus
on language learning) was a kind of trial run with a relatively low number of
participants, but plans are already under way to repeat the event in summer
2013 on a larger scale and with a broader focus. The arrival of our new
colleague Peter Agócs, who has taken on the job of Widening Participation
Officer, has made it easier for the Department to develop such initiatives.
Would you like to learn more about Greek tragedy, early modern Latin, Greek
philosophers, the Greeks in Egypt and Olympics-themed artefacts, all in
one day? Then you should have come to this year’s ‘Classics Day: a day of
talks and discussions on themes related to ancient Greece and Rome’! But
you have not completely lost out: this is an annual event, and there will be
another chance next year, with a similarly exciting mix of themes.
Classics Day takes place at the
British Museum on the first Saturday
in March and is organized in a threeway partnership between University
College London, the British Museum
and City Lit, the centre for adult
learning. It normally consists of
four talks by staff from all three
participating institutions followed
by guided visits to Greek and /
or Roman galleries of the British
Museum. Knowledge of Greek and
Latin is not required; the event is
open to everyone and regularly
attracts audiences of up to 200
people of all age groups, including
regulars and first-timers.
The departmental contributions
this year were Jenny Bryan on
‘The construction and reception of
Socrates’ and Gesine Manuwald
on ‘Latin writings in the British
Isles’, both topics closely related to
current book projects, so that the
audience was able not only to get
an introduction to stimulating topics,
but also to learn about the latest
Got interested? Further details about
next year’s event will be on the
departmental website in due course,
and booking will be via the City Lit
website (
Teaching Literacy through Latin in
inner London
Lorna Robinson, Director of The Iris Project
Six years have gone by since The Iris Project started delivering Latin as
part of the school literacy curriculum in disadvantaged areas of the city
in partnership with UCL Department of Greek and Latin. In that time, the
project has blossomed and thrived, and there are an ever- growing number
of schools in London and Oxford; we have even expanded the scheme to
Swansea, Reading and Manchester! The project could not continue without
the brilliant teaching and fervent commitment shown by volunteers from UCL
and elsewhere, and as can be seen from these accounts, it’s an experience
which can really benefit both pupils and volunteers.
The effects of the scheme have now been recognised in the 2011 OFSTED
report from St saviours School in Brixton, which observed: “The school has
a range of effective partnerships with external agencies, including the Iris
Project with University College London which, by teaching Year 5 pupils Latin,
has made a strong contribution to those pupils’ improved writing.”
Sam Thompson
I completed my MA in Classics in 2011, and have been a volunteer Latin
teacher with the Iris Project in 2011-12. It is a powerful thing to give others
the chance to learn Latin from a young age, and it is amazing to see how
easily they retain the vocabulary. The Iris Project website is full of resources,
including a year’s worth of lesson plans that introduce Latin in a fun way,
using myths (which the children love especially) and games.
To the volunteer Iris offers teaching experience, which is especially difficult
to get in the Classics subjects. If you may want to teach later, pick up that
experience this year. The one hour per week is a very good investment, both
in your own CV, and in the lives of the children you teach, whom you will give
the great gift of early exposure to Latin and the opportunity to be Classicists.
James Ahsan
I taught Latin at Lauriston Primary School through the Iris Project throughout
the 2011/12 academic year and it was an opportunity I would recommend
greatly. I took a class of ten Year Six students with no previous knowledge
of Latin and used a variety of worksheets, games and stories to get them
interested in the exciting new language. Keeping the lessons both interesting
and educational was a challenging balance, but after a few lessons it
became clear which methods worked best. It was a rewarding experience
to give young students the opportunity to become passionate about Latin,
and encourage them to further their studies in secondary school. I am now
completing a PGCE in Classics Teaching and the Iris Project introduced me
to the world of teaching and gave me my first opportunity to take my own
class. Even if you are not interested in a teaching career, the Iris Project is an
excellent programme to be involved with to help keep Latin alive and to give
back to local schools.
Above and
Beyond: UCL
Students Take
the Initiative
Adam Lecznar
In June of last year
I was invited by
the archivist at the
National Theatre
on London’s South
Bank to give a lecture as part of their
‘Researchers’ Tales’ initiative. The
aim of the series was to give young
academics doing work that requires
the NT’s archive the opportunity to
share their findings with a broader
audience while also publicising
the resources of the archive to the
general public and other researchers.
I spoke about the Nigerian playwright
Wole Soyinka’s adaptation of
Euripides’ Bacchae that premiered
at the NT in the summer of 1973,
and used various photos and props
that I had found in my trips to the
archive. The lecture was very well
attended, with lots of friends, family
and complete strangers coming
along to hear me speak and then ask
(sometimes quite probing) questions
afterwards. It was great to talk about
my research to a new audience and
I found it a thoroughly rewarding
Andreas Serafim &
Beatrice da Vela
In 2012 we organised the two-day
international conference “A Theatre
of Justice”, on the performative
dynamics of Greek and Roman
oratory and rhetoric. Our conference
aimed at creating a forum for the
exchange of ideas between different
disciplines. More than 55 scholars
and postgraduate students from all
over the world enjoyed nineteen
papers on several elements of
oratory in/as performance and
two keynote speeches by Ian
Worthington (Missouri) and Edith
Hall (KCL).
It has been said that taking part in
a conference is like a concert; you
sit back and enjoy it. Organizing a
conference, however, is definitely
a more worthwhile and stimulating
endeavour. It offers organisers good
preparation for the administrative
aspect of academic life, contributing
decisively to the development of their
research and project management
skills. Despite the hard work, the
reward is salient. We have found
that our conference has sparked
much enthusiasm: a number of
distinguished scholars and other
participants have approached us and
expressed their excitement about the
Much of the credit for the sound
success of this conference goes to
the Department of Greek and Latin
for collaborating enthusiastically with
and supporting heartedly the two
organisers. Professor Chris Carey
was, as always, supportive and
encouraging. The department of
Greek and Latin together with UCL
Graduate School, Faculty of Arts
and Humanities, and the Institute of
Classical Studies generously offered
substantial financial support. And the
assistance of the two departmental
secretaries, Joanna Fryer and
Mary Moloney, in all the stages
of conference’s organisation was
invaluable. We hope our department
will be able to continue supporting
its students in organizing this kind of
rewarding and stimulating events.
Bridget Wright
I was absolutely
over the moon to
be awarded a UCL
Graduate Research
Scholarship and
I can say without
any hesitation that my first year as
a PhD student has been the most
interesting and enjoyable year of my
life. Supervised by Professor Maria
Wyke, I am looking at how the memory
of Julius Caesar was handled in Rome
between the years 14 and 98 AD (i.e.
from the start of Tiberius’ principate to
the end of Nerva’s).
My first year has been extremely
busy. As well as getting to grips with
my project, I started learning German
(since there are numerous German
articles which I need to be able to
read!); I attended the 2012 Classical
Association conference in Exeter, the
weekly Latin literature seminars held at
Senate House and a range of courses
hosted by the Graduate School; I was
employed by Maria Wyke to write the
index for her latest book (Caesar in the
USA), and I am now preparing to fly
to America for a conference on Julius
Caesar at Amherst College.
I have been delighted with the amount
of support I have received, both from
UCL in general and from the
Department of Greek and Latin in
particular. I hope that the rest of my
PhD continues to be just as challenging
and fascinating as my first year
has been.
Nick Freer
As I enter the final
year of my PhD, I can
reflect on my time
within the Department
of Greek and Latin
with great satisfaction. I have been
privileged to work with Professor
Gesine Manuwald, whose vast
knowledge and encouragement have
eased the burden of completing my
doctoral thesis, which explores the
influence of the Epicurean philosopher
Philodemus on the poetry of Vergil.
The rest of the faculty have been
equally generous with their time,
offering a friendly and supportive
environment within which to pursue
my studies.
Throughout my degree I have
benefitted from the wide range of
opportunities available to PhD
students at UCL. In my second year
I received full funding from the
Graduate School to spend a semester
at the University of California, Berkeley.
Conducting research at a foreign
institution was an immensely valuable
experience that I would recommend
to any PhD student. I am also
excited to be the co-organiser of a
conference on Vergil’s Georgics,
an endeavour that would not be
possible without the considerable
support of the department and the
University. With all of this in mind, I
can honestly say that the PhD has
been a formative experience and
an ideal preparation for a career in
2012: Tragedy
and Triumph
Laura Swift, Academic
director who ran it, which can now
be seen at
watch?v=zoy2-ly7BSk. We are very
proud of the tradition that has built
up around the Greek play, and the
department is now putting together a
detailed archive on our website with
images, programme notes, and cast
lists for all our plays going back as far
as 1987. Anyone who was involved
in a past performance and has any
details to offer is warmly invited to get
in touch!
Emily Thomas, Producer
This year’s Greek play at the
Bloomsbury Theatre was Euripides’
Hippolytus, directed by Ilona Kotz
and Camilla Chenery. This was an
ambitious performance, using a recent
translation by Ann Carson, and the
students created their own video art
to represent the primeval forces
symbolised by Aphrodite and Artemis.
The production received the honour
of a positive review in The Times from
Matthew Parris, who described the
production as “explosive”, and who
praised the “great performance” by
Charlie Satow (Hippolytus), as well
as singling out Eleanor Wright (the
Nurse) and Rohan Pai (Messenger)
as “wonderfully natural”. As has
become customary in recent years,
the play was accompanied by a
programme of outreach activities:
each evening performance was
preceded by a lecture given by an
expert on Greek drama, and we also
held three workshops (funded by the
Hellenic Society) run by theatre
practitioners. The workshops attracted
both school parties and older members
of the public, and it was inspiring to
see these diverse groups sharing
their perspectives to produce short
dramatic pieces. We have made a
short film based on footage taken
from one of the workshops, combined
with an interview with the professional
Producing the Greek Play was an
excellent opportunity to combine the
study of Greek Drama and the
experience of a real working theatre.
Whilst production did not revolve
around creative input into the play,
the team were presented with the
challenge of staging an ancient drama
in a modern theatre. The production
team also spent time liaising with the
translator’s agent and team in New
York, obtaining the legal rights to stage
the play at the Bloomsbury, designing
the programme to be sold on the
night, and discussing props with the
National Theatre props department.
We were able to be involved in so many
diverse aspects of the play, that we
were able to form strong bonds with not
only the directorial team, but also the
cast, backstage team and the theatre
management. This meant that we got
to see the development of the play
from all angles, start to finish.Ultimately,
the production team got to oversee a
wide range of people, all of whom had
a love for ancient drama, and helped
them put on a really great play.
Rohan Pai, Actor
As a member of the cast, what made
Hippolytus a particularly outstanding
production was the level of acting and
the level of perception from every
member of the production; together
we aimed to perfect the process of
identifying the key themes of the play,
understanding them deeply, and finally
depicting them in a naturalistic yet
compelling way that could transform
a theatre as big as the Bloomsbury
Theatre into a small window into the
tragic, chaotic world in which the
characters dwell.
Not only was this a testament to the
level of teamwork and effort every
participant put in, but I feel it goes to
show that student drama, and the
work of The Classical Drama Society,
is not at all a periphery of UCL
student theatre that should easily be
dismissed; Matthew Parris’ article on
the play was the exact reaction we
had each hoped to receive from the
audience and showed us that our
hard work was not in vain! It is very
satisfying to have experienced the
process of putting on this play.
On my part, the feeling that being part
of a production with a modernized
script and unconventional staging
and costumes was refreshingly
different to more traditional renditions
of several Greek plays in which I have
been involved in the past. It was a
production of which I was proud to
be a part (as, I’m sure, were all the
others). It was pure hard work and
passion displayed by all parties
involved that resulted in a production
that served to strengthen the
reputation of UCL Classical Drama
even further.
Bright Beginnings and Fond Farewells
New Staff
Peter Agócs
I am a Hellenist who
works mostly on the
poetry of the archaic
and classical periods.
I joined the Department
in September 2012,
and I teach mostly Greek and a bit of
Latin. I was born in the United States,
and educated in Canada and Hungary:
my mother is American (now Canadian),
and my father was a ‘56 Hungarian;
my sister Kati is a composer in Boston.
My connection to the UCL Greek &
Latin Department began in January,
2001, when I came to London as an
ERASMUS student from Budapest. In
2003, I began a PhD with Chris Carey,
after finishing my undergraduate
studies in Greek and Latin at ELTE
(Budapest). I ended up staying on:
for four years, I was a Junior
Research Fellow at Christ’s College,
Cambridge. I am very excited to
have returned to UCL. My research
focusses on archaic and classical
Greek song (thus lyric poetry,
especially the choral odes of Pindar
and Bacchylides: there is a book on
the way), and also ideas of genre,
tradition and cultural memory in poetic
and prose texts of the 5th-century
and earlier.
Rosa Andujar
I joined the Department
of Greek & Latin in
September 2012 as
the A. G. Leventis
Research Fellow. I
studied Classics on
both sides of the Atlantic: at Wellesley,
King’s College Cambridge, and
Princeton. Following the completion
of my doctoral work at Princeton, I
returned to Cambridge where I taught
various topics in Classics and English
at several colleges. My research
interests range broadly across the
spectrum of Greek literature and its
afterlife: from fifth century tragedy, to
the Greek literature of the Roman
Empire, to twentieth century reimaginings of Classical drama in
the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. I
am currently completing a book on
lyric exchanges between chorus and
actors in Greek Tragedy. At UCL,
I am looking forward to sharing my
knowledge of tragedy as advisor
for the annual Classical play at the
Bloomsbury Theatre.
Antony Makrinos
I joined UCL as a
research and teaching
Fellow in 2005.
I research Greek epic
(especially Homer),
Byzantine scholarship
and reception studies in visual culture.
I am currently preparing an edition
of Eustathius’ “Commentary on the
Odyssey” (Book 1) as well as several
articles on Byzantine scholarship.
Last year I participated in many
conferences and workshops, including
the Conference on “Homeric Receptions
in Literature and Performing Arts” at
the Ionian University of Corfu and the
Grundtvig Workshop on “Modern
Views of Greek and Roman Antiquity”
organised by the Centre of Scientific
Dialogue and Research in Nicosia.
I am currently co-editing with UCL
alumna Dr. Ioanna Hadjikosti a volume
with the Proceedings of the Grundtvig
workshop. Last summer I also taught
for the 15th Homeric Academy in Chios
in which I was awarded the Golden
Seal for Outstanding performance
in teaching classical languages by
This year I am employed as a full-time
teaching fellow at UCL. I am participating
in a Classical Day at the University of
Southern Denmark in Odense and in
the “Texts and Editing” seminar
organised by ITSEE and the Classics
Department of Birmingham. This
summer I will organise the London
Summer School in Classics.
Fond Farewells
Amanda Cater
When I saw the advert for Secretary
in the Department of
Greek and Latin back
in 1999, I thought to
myself, now there’s a
nice little 9-5 job to
keep me occupied.
Little did I know it
would be more like 95 hours per
week (allow me to exaggerate) but also
how much enjoyment and happiness
it was going to bring. To begin with,
it was like stepping back in time, as
I had been a student in the dept in
the (very) early 80s. Here again were
my former tutors, Alan Griffiths, Bob
Sharples, Herwig Maehler, Robert
Ireland and Paddy Considine, all just
the same 20 years on. Eric Handley
and Malcolm Willcock were still very
much involved with the department
as Emeriti Profs and the departmental
play in which I appeared (Epidicus and
Casina, we did Roman shows then
too) still going strong.
Of course the years rolled by and we
all got older. Now 13 years and 5 Heads
of Department on, I’m no longer there
and the department is shiny, fresh and
new – both in staff and in wall coverings.
It’s an amazing place, everyone beavers
non-stop which means administrators
are constantly chasing their tails and
exhausted. But oh, it’s been a ball and
I’m missing everyone like mad.
Amanda Cater is now Administrator for
the new UCL Arts and Sciences (BASc)
programme but her email remains the
Joanna Fryer
Perhaps the one
memory which best
characterises my
experience of Greek
and Latin is of the late
Stephen Instone at the
ever popular London Summer School in
Classics. In order to pledge Virgil as
the sexiest ancient in the renowned
Classics debate, Stephen donned a
child-sized tunic (and little else) and
proceeded to shout out the first 20 lines
of the Aeneid in Latin. He then went
on to explain how certain linguistic
features were sexy. At this point I (and
most of the audience) was crying with
laughter. He had earlier admitted that
he had chosen Virgil to fit in with his
current interests and with tongue firmly
in cheek, but this moment sums up the
wonderful, warm and eccentric world
of Greek and Latin. It is a department
truly made by its people. I hope to be
lucky enough to work always with such
lively, kind, dedicated and, on occasion,
barmy people.
Joanna Fryer is now Postgraduate
Administrator at the Department of History.