Current Students

Simona Martorana

My doctoral thesis explores motherhood in Ovid’s Heroides. This is pursued by taking into account the historical and political context in which this work originates, as well as the features and characteristics of Ovid’s poetry more widely. Beyond following this traditional path, my theoretical approach is informed specifically by gender studies, which is conceived as the main hermeneutical tool to explore further the Heroides in terms of literary criticism and interpretations. The theoretical frame to which I refer when talking about a gender-based approach mainly consists of the French feminist writers, the critical works on gender performativity (e.g., Butler), as well as feminism criticism more widely – especially if applied to motherhood studies (within classical scholarship, cf., e.g., Augoustakis 2010, McAuley 2016). According to this approach, the Heroides may be interpreted as examples of écriture féminine, which gives expression to female voices. In this way, these letters would represent a sort of enclave within a wider patriarchal-based context, in which femininity takes a subversive attitude against the symbolic space established by the Law of the Fathers. This results in the temporary re-creation of a new language and an autonomous space – a sort of “room of one’s own” – for the female voice.

Supervisory team: Dr Jennifer lngleheart, Classics and Ancient History (Durham), Dr loannis Ziogas, Classics and Ancient History (Durham).

Start Date: October 2017.