English Intern
Englische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft


PhD Project

'Articulating Classicism: Attic Tragedy and the Fiction of Globalisation’  (working title)


The historically received positioning of the Greco-Roman tradition at the core of Euro-American sociocultural consciousness has been the subject of ardent debate over the past decades. Although in fields such as comparative literature and continental philosophy the authority of classical antiquity is affirmed more often than destabilised, its pre-eminence is waning in English departments globally. The decreasing prominence of classics in these circles, however, threatens to obstruct two key articulatory elements: firstly, a proper recognition of how a classicist ‘legacy’ is (re-)constructed in cultural responses to the condition of globalisation; secondly, an understanding of how this ‘legacy’ is handed down in the form of Attic tragedy. The importance of classical literature and specifically of Attic tragedy is most evident in contemporary Anglophone novels that purposefully address a transnational cultural marketplace. In consequence, my dissertation project aims to broaden current Anglophone literary criticism and globalisation studies by critically examining the implications of Attic tragedy for the global novel. Analysing how contemporary authors such as Colm Tóibín, Kamila Shamsie, Natalie Haynes, and Marlon James have attempted to novelise the works of the three major Attic tragedians, I will seek to unravel the complex mechanisms of tragedy in a globalised world. Proceeding along three conceptual axes—(tragic) epistemology, (tragic) phenomenology, and (tragic) articulation—I will confront a crucial question once posed by George Steiner anew: in what ways, for what reasons, and to what effects do classical ideas or their classicist re-inventions continue ‘to give vital shape to our sense of self and of the world.’

Research Interests

  • Globalisation Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies/Postcolonial Ecocriticism
  • Classical Reception Studies
  • Sound Studies