B.A. in Latin (High Honors) and Comparative Literature (High Honors), Haverford College
MSt. in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature, with Distinction, University of Oxford
DPhil in Classical Languages, University of Oxford
When I first embarked upon my undergraduate degree -- at none other than Haverford College -- I intended to major in some combination of English, History, and Fine Arts. It was only a matter of time before my love of myth and literary history took me to the study of Latin, and later, Greek. I spent my junior year abroad studying Classics and English at Oxford, where reading James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Thomas Pynchon helped me think more vividly about Homer, Ovid, and Virgil. The enthusiastic interdisciplinarity of my Classics professors at Haverford also helped me realize that I could nurture my interests in music, art, history, literature, and philosophy all within the Classics department.
I found myself attracted to a life of long hours of reading, writing, and discussing literature. I became interested in the way ancient myth circulates through popular culture: film, music, television, and popular discourse. I have always been interested in the power of the voice, so I became very curious about the myth of the Sirens. Over the years I've explored their reception in ancient myth, in Joyce's Ulysses, in the music videos of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Madonna, and in Western opera. I love talking about voices and their power over the human body and mind. I love thinking about the way myths influence the world around us and shape our ideas of what it means to be human. But more than "what it means to be human," I'm fascinated by how distinctions between humanity and other categories of being are drawn and subsequently blurred. I'm very interested in the state of Classics as a discipline and its connection to big issues of social justice and identity politics.
I completed my graduate work at the University of Oxford in 2017, and it has been an unusual and remarkable pleasure to return as a faculty member to the place that first fostered my love of ancient languages, literature, and culture.
My doctoral research explores ancient literary depictions of monsters' voices in ancient Greek epic, lyric, and tragedy. I focus primarily on the sounds that monsters make and moments where sound itself assumes a monstrous character within narratives. My dissertation argues that monsters not only blur boundaries within their own forms, but that they - and their voices - can enact category destablization on those who come into contact with them. I'm interested in the ways that communication across categories of being (i.e. god, human, animal, ecology, monster) is enabled and facilitated in archaic and classical Greek poetry.
In addition to revising my dissertation for publication, I am currently working on a number of projects. The first is a chapter for the forthcoming Companion to Greek Lyric (Wiley Blackwell, ed. L. Swift), and considers queer time in Anne Carson's receptions of the Greek lyric poets Sappho and Stesichorus. The second is a forthcoming chapter in a general audience book called Making Monsters: An Anthology of Classically Themed Speculative Fiction and Essays (ICS/Future Fire, ed. Emma Bridges and Djibril al-Ayad, 2018), and explores Sirenic imagery in Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone." (This last project has its roots in my senior thesis work at Haverford!) The third is a rather larger project about representations of disability in mythic narratives concerning the god Hephaestus; I'm very curious about the connections between disability and issues of divine embodiment and physicality. And the fourth is an article on the intersections between sound, monstrosity, and dream in Aeschylus' Oresteia.