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Dr Emma Buckley

Senior Lecturer in Latin
Director of Postgraduate Studies

Phone: 01334 462622

Room: C25

Research profile

Research Interests

  • Early imperial poetry and drama
  • Supplements, Translations and Reception of Virgil, Ovid and Seneca
  • Academic Drama (neo-Latin tragedies and comedy, 1580-1642) 

My research interests fall into two major categories: the poetry and literature of the early Roman empire; and classical culture in early modern England. My work on early imperial literature (69-96CE) seeks to rehabilitate the until recently neglected and undervalued poetry of the Flavian era. My research on 16th and 17th century academic drama investigates the fascinating intersection of classical literature with education, scholarship, court culture and state power in early modern England. While there is a large time-gap between the fields in which I work, my research in both aims to re-connect and integrate undervalued or misunderstood literature into the broader historical and cultural story, combining close textual analysis with historicist cultural-theory approaches.    

Current research

  • I am finishing a monograph on Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, an interpretative study examining Valerius’ response to the new Flavian age.
  • I am currently editing (with E. J. Paleit of Exeter) a modern edition of Thomas May’s 1627 Pharsalia (forthcoming with MHRA 2018).
  • I am undertaking the preliminary research for a monograph on academic drama and its classical contexts.

Research students

  • I am currently supervising or co-supervising research degrees on the theme of aberration in Senecan tragedy; the reception of Virgil and Lucan in 15th century French epic; cult texts and their reception in Borges, Eco and Graves; space and ‘les lieux de mémoire’ in Statius’ Silvae; Ovid and Statius’ Thebaid; Ovid and the law. 
  • I welcome interest in research degrees in early imperial literature and its reception, especially in the early modern period. Please feel free to get in touch by email to discuss your research interests and ambitions, whatever your current stage of study.


For further information on publications, please view my profile on the university's research portal.


  • I regularly lecture to sub-Honours Classical Studies modules on Augustan society and Roman Republican Intellectual culture.
  • I teach in sub-Honours Latin modules, on authors including Petronius, Ovid and Virgil.
  • I contribute to team-taught Honours Latin modules in Roman Epic and Latin Didactic.
  • I offer Honours modules on the reception of Virgil (including Dante, Milton, Marlowe and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land), Ovid and the art of translation’ (including Golding and Ted Hughes), and Senecan tragedy and its reception (including plays by Shakespeare, Ted Hughes, and Sarah Kane).
  • I regularly contribute to the MLitt programme, with professional development seminars on writing book reviews and research proposals, and research topics such as ‘Genre’, ‘Allusion vs Intertext’, and ‘Translation Theory’.

Academic Career

My first degree was from New Hall (now Murray Edwards College), Cambridge (1998-2001). I stayed at Cambridge for both the MPhil and PhD, with part-time stints during that time teaching Latin at New Hall School (Chelmsford, Essex) and Hills’s Road Sixth Form College (Cambridge). I then travelled north to take up my first proper job – the lectureship in Latin and Classical Studies at St Andrews (2006) – and I have been here ever since!  

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