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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



Antonia is studying for a PhD in Classics at the University of Cambridge. She completed a Cambridge MPhil in Classics in 2015, after having obtained a triple-major State Examination Degree in ancient Greek language/literature, mathematics and English language/literature from the University of Freiburg, Germany in 2014.

Antonia's research interests are centred around the question of how the relationship between socio-hierarchical identity and embodied performance is conceptualized in the works of ancient Greek literature, particularly in fifth-century Athenian drama. Approaching these issues from the vantage points of gender and ancient slavery, her MPhil thesis focussed on the portrayal of women’s transition into slavery in Euripides’ tragedies. She analysed these dramatic scenes of enslavement as studies of a hierarchical downwards transition displaced into the female other and as performative explorations of the intertwinement of agency and hierarchy at stake in the process.

Antonia's PhD dissertation both widens the focus of inquiry by addressing fifth-century tragedy and comedy and approaches the issue of embodied identity performance from a different angle: focusing on characters’ discursive activations of the (un)dressed body at moments of social tension, insecurity, transgression and challenged self-expression, her doctoral research explores the question of how such dramatic discourses make use of a varied set of ideas about the body in order to formulate the notion of a stably grounded, embodied identity. As Antonia’s explorations into the dramatic treatments of characters’ dressing and undressing the body aim to illustrate, however, these activations of a stable embodiment are consistently challenged in fifth-century drama by a rivalling notion of the body as an ideologically laden, social and political concept in itself and thus, rather than a pre-existing physical entity and the possible base line of a physically graspable, invariable notion of being, fundamentally comes into being in processes of social performance – just as the identities mapped upon it.

Antonia would be delighted to be contacted about any kind of collaborative research.


Academic interests

-     Archaic and Classical Greek literature, culture and society

-     Questions of being and performance, metamorphosis and transformation

-     Constructions of social identity, hierarchy and mobility in drama and public spectacle

-     Concepts of self and other

-     Meta-theatre and theatricality

-     Theories of vision and (sensual/cognitive) perception

Department: Faculty of Classics
Supervisors: Professor Simon Goldhill, Professor Richard Hunter, Dr Rebecca Laemmle
College: Murray Edwards College
AHRC Subject Area: Classics
Title of Thesis: Concepts of (un)dressing in Greek drama
 Antonia Marie Reinke (née Schrader)