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Talitha E. Z. Kearey

Department: Classics

Supervisor: Dr Emily Gowers

College: Clare

AHRC Subject Area: Classics

Title of Thesis: [provisional] Concepts of Authorship in the Ancient Reception of Virgil


Biography:

Following my undergraduate (2012) and Master’s (2014) degrees, both in Classics at Clare College, Cambridge, I am now in the first year of a PhD here. My academic interests lie within the fields of Latin literature, Virgilian studies, reception studies, and ancient scholarship, focusing on the ways in which Virgil is construed as an author through various readings and interpretations of his texts. My MPhil dissertation examined the figure of the ‘dead author’ in Virgil’s texts and their ancient reception, investigating the various ways in which this figure is deployed as a narratival dramatisation of literary anxieties: literary affiliation and influence, authorial control, textual integrity and survival. I also studied Virgil’s use of self-quotation; ancient Virgilian commentaries’ discourse of textual authority; and the thematisation of ambiguous authenticity in an anonymous piece of Virgilian pseudepigrapha, the Culex. My doctoral research is centred around commentaries, pseudepigrapha, centos, and other pieces of transformative, imitative, or scholarly reception of Virgil’s texts, again pursuing questions of authority, authenticity, and authorship. My current work explores discourses of composition, revision, and textuality in ancient accounts of Virgil’s life, and the changing functions of these discourses as media of social exchange, community formation, authorial (self-) fashioning, and literary-political agency. 

 Other academic interests:

  • Virgilian reception outside of antiquity.
  • Metaphors of literary/intellectual activity in the ancient world.
  • Ancient engagements with fictionality, lying, and nonsense.
  • Textuality; textual criticism; the materiality of the text.