MA Classics (Cambridge); MSt Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature (Oxford); DPhil in Classical Languages and Literature (Oxford)

Academic background

After reading Classics at Cambridge for my undergraduate degree (2005–8), I spent a year at Harvard on a Kennedy Memorial Scholarship (2008–9), where I took courses in Latin and English literature, Roman art and archaeology, the relationship between art and text, history of art, and museology. In 2016, I came to Oxford for my MSt and doctorate.

Undergraduate teaching

I teach Greek and Roman literature and art/archaeology; and Greek and Latin languages.

Research interests

My research ranges across the verbal and visual art of the Graeco-Roman world. At its core is a fascination with the relations between cultural and mental worlds: how did a play, a poem, or a history shape ideas in antiquity? What gave Greek and Roman literature and art the power to transform thinking? My approach is comparative and interdisciplinary: examining genres and media from different contexts, I probe how texts and objects involved their audiences, readers, and viewers in processes of thought.

I am currently working on a monograph based on my doctoral thesis, ‘Encountering Death in the Visual and Verbal Culture of Classical Athens’. The book builds a picture of culturally-mediated reflection on death in Classical Athens. I explore similar ideas in my article on Roman sarcophagi, focusing on the possibilities and limitations of analogy for thanatological reflection.

My new project is about how mythological literature and art worked to shape cultural norms in the Graeco-Roman world. I am interested in how visual and verbal art established an authoritative model for thinking about issues such as violence.

Featured publications

Clifford, E. [2023]. ‘Death by Analogy: Identity Crises on a Roman Sarcophagus’, The Journal of Roman Studies (in press).

Clifford, E. [2023]. ‘Imagining Death with Painted Pots’, in Clifford and Buxton (eds) (in press).

Clifford, E. and X. Buxton [2023]. ‘Introduction’, in Clifford and Buxton (eds) (in press).

Clifford, E. and X. Buxton (eds) [2023]. The Imagination of the Mind in Classical Athens: Forms of Thought (in press, forthcoming with Routledge on 14 July 2023) https://www.routledge.com/The-Imagination-of-the-Mind-in-Classical-Athens-Forms-of-Thought/Clifford-Buxton/p/book/9780367706685

In preparation:

Figuring Death: Visual and Literary Explorations in Classical Athens.