My eighth and final year as a student at Lucy Cavendish

by Carol Atack on 9 July 2014


My eighth(!) and final year as a student at Lucy Cavendish has been a busy one. Not only did I complete and submit my PhD thesis, and continue to supervise for several colleges in Greek literature, history and philosophy, but I also gave some new papers and shepherded some others along the path to publication.

In 2014-15 I will be working in Oxford as a temporary college lecturer in Classics at St Hugh’s College, as well as giving a series of faculty lectures on Thucydides. I’m very much looking forward toCarol Atack seeing how the classical world looks from the perspective of the Other Place…

During this year I gave several papers to conferences and seminars: highlights were conferences in Madrid and Israel, and a very enjoyable seminar at the Institute for Historical Research in London. Along with Lucy Cavendish research fellow Helen Roche I organised the annual workshop of the Legacy of Greek Political Thought research network at Cambridge in December. Here’s a list of papers I gave over the last year or so:

  • Xenophon and the Performativity of Kingship, The Use and Abuse of History (festschrift for my PhD supervisor Paul Cartledge), Cambridge, September 2014.
  • Metaphor and meaning in the political myths of Herodotus, Science/Fiction/History: The Literary in Classical Historiography, Athens, September 2014.
  • Plato’s Statesman and Xenophon’s Cyrus, Plato and Xenophon, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv, June 2014.
  • Virtue and the Metaphysics of Monarchy: Aristotelian Arguments, Contemporary Aristotelian Studies Group annual workshop, University of South Wales, Caeleon, December 2013.
  • The philosopher and his equals: Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou in dialogue with Plato, Ancient Ideas in the Contemporary World, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, November 2013.
  • Aristotle’s pambasileia and the metaphysics of monarchy, History of Political Ideas/Early Career Seminar, Institute for Historical Research, University of London, November 2013.
  • ‘I found a court full of stasis’: political and historical argument in biographical letters, The Platonic Letters: Readings and Receptions, UCL, September 2013.

My paper ‘The Discourse of Kingship in Classical Athenian Thought’ was accepted for publication by Histos, the journal for ancient historiography; several of the above papers and some from earlier years are slowly making their way through the publication process. I also contributed to a forthcoming volume on Plato's Seventh Letter, writing a series of endnotes describing the historical background and manuscript tradition of this much-disputed text and other pseudonymous ancient letters.

I don’t think I anticipated that my academic life would be anything like this when I arrived at Lucy Cavendish as a fresher in 2006, and I owe many thanks to all the Lucy Cavendish fellows and students who’ve supported me along the way, as well as the generous college support that has enabled me to attend some of these conferences.

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