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Dr Tom Geue

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

tag8@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: 01334 462614

Research profile

Research Interests

I’ve always been interested in (I’m currently telling myself I’ve always thought about) how literature ducks or dives into the political, and how that happens on the contested ground of the ‘self’. I’ve loitered in a few different corners of Latin literature along the way: from the oblique, allegorized politics of Horace's Ars Poetica, to the narratological alibi of the Roman calendar in Ovid’s Fasti, to the discourse of exile in Juvenal. I like to think in general about what it means to be an author under the Roman principate. My staple is the study of anonymous and pseudonymous texts, but I’m also stubbornly stumped by the question of how one writes a first-person self in ancient literature (and how one might do so in the age of electronic signature). 

Current Research

Right now, I’m polishing my doctoral thesis for publication (Satirist without Qualities: Juvenal and the Poetics of Anonymity) while gritting away in the first phase of a new monograph (The Muted Voice: Authorship, Autocracy and Anonymity in the Early Roman Principate). Both projects are interested in the special magic of the text as a technology of absence and anonymity. In my leisure time, I’m trying to revive Marxist criticism as the only decent approach to Virgil's Georgics, among other things. I’m also dreaming about ambitious and unfeasible longer-term projects such as an alternative literary history of verse satire, which puts the anonymous author front and centre; and a cultural history of modesty and self-effacement. 

I’m a big believer in ‘distributed authorship’ and ‘thick textuality’: that is, every piece of writing as a product of an unpredictable chemical reaction between the writing subject, the writing medium, the world, other people, other texts, other ideas, and whatever ambient noise happens to be doing the rounds – but also as an arbitrary moment in an unending metamorphic process. That goes for academic work too. So I’ve tried to help get as many conversations as possible going on, with different voices shattering the echo chamber: a workshop on the critical turn of ‘metapoetics’ (with partner in crime Laura Viidebaum), a bigger conference on authors/readers/texts in imperial literature (‘Triangulationships’ – aiding and abetting Francesca Middleton and Claire Jackson), and an undergraduate summer school on reciprocity in Roman literature (with Heidelberg dream team Martin Stöckinger and Tobias Allendorf). I’m thrilled to continue more in this vein at St Andrews, the tightest of academic communities. I’m especially energised about slotting into ‘Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian’, which was crucial in whittling down my current project on anonymity. 

I’ll be blogging regularly on the research process behind The Muted Voice (watch this space for url), which I hope will showcase these principles in action. 

Publications

Princeps avant la lettre: The Foundations of Augustus in Pre-Augustan Poetry
Geue, T. A. 2013 La costruzione del mito augusteo. Labate, M. & Rosati, G. (eds.). Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, p. 49-68
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

The loser leaves (Rome's loss): Umbricius’ wishful exile in Juvenal, Satire 3
Geue, T. A. Dec 2015 In : The Classical Quarterly. 65, 2, p. 773-787 15 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Editing the Opposition: Horace’s Ars Politica
Geue, T. A. 2014 In : Materiali e Discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici . p. 143-172
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Festina Lente: Progress and Delay in Ovid’s Fasti
Geue, T. A. 2010 In : Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature. 39, 2, p. 104-129
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Word and Deed in the Iliad
Geue, T. A. 2008 In : Classicum. 34, 1, p. 11-22
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

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

Teaching

I’ve taught a host of things that needed teaching: most of the Latin language and literature modules for Mods and Greats at Oxford; and at Bristol: Latin language (beginners and advanced), plus big courses in translation such as Roman history and epic. Most of my papers have started life as ideas tried out and unwisely not left in the classroom; I hope my students always see the two-way traffic between teaching and research, and how important they are (if often unfairly invisible) on the road from chat to print.

My teaching load over the next while will be fairly light (contributions to Latin sub-honours modules, and design/delivery of a new honours course on Roman self-fashioning) – but I welcome conversations with students of all levels, at all times, so please get in touch if you want to bat some ideas around! But I’ll need to try some out on you too.

Career

I’ve been lucky enough to learn and teach at some wonderful classical hotspots, and have been tattooed with the thoughts of many. I picked up a lot from Emily Matters at North Sydney Boys High School, and went further with Frances Muecke and Emma Gee for my undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney (2004-7). I waved off the sun to do an MPhil and PhD at King’s College, Cambridge, on the watch of John Henderson and Chris Whitton (2008-13). I then went west to be a stipendiary lecturer at Trinity College, Oxford (2013-14), and almost kissed the Severn Bore with a stint as a teaching fellow in Latin at the University of Bristol (2014-15). I’m overjoyed to stop traversing the island with a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at St Andrews (2015-18), followed by a lectureship in Latin (2018-into the sunset). 

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