Skip to main content

Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome

The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome was set up in 2007 to bring together interests among members of staff and postgraduate students in many departments and disciplines across Royal Holloway. The Centre’s focus is on the political, philosophical and literary bridges between the contemporary world and Mediterranean antiquity.

Thinking about the heritage of Greece and Roman has been constitutive of virtually every area of modern life: literature, drama, political theory, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, art, music, architecture, the military, government, gender, gay rights, post-colonialism, civil rights, medicine, engineering, entertainment, theatre, cinema and sport.

Current research in the centre has two main strands - classics in popular culture, and classics in contemporary thought. Many members of staff in the department have an interest in reception; our broader interests range from political and literary philosophy, urbanism, literary receptions, science fictions, and popular culture. 

The Centre's Directors are Dr. Liz Gloyn and Dr. Efi Spentzou. The Centre hosts our current graduate students whose work is associated with the reception of the classical world. The Centre offers a Masters by Research in Classical Reception for those wishing to explore this subject at PGT level.

Major current projects include:

  • Three Classicizing Capitals - Prof. Richard Alston
  • Classical monsters in popular culture - Dr. Liz Gloyn
  • Archaeology and Comics – Dr Zena Kamash, with Dr Leen van Broeck and Dr Katy Soar
  • Heritage, crafting and well-being in post-conflict contexts – Dr Zena Kamash
  • Classicists, psychical research and the paranormal - Dr. Nick Lowe
  • The modern Greek novel and the Classical tradition - Dr. Efi Spentzou
  • Reimagining of Eurydice as the Girl - Dr. Efi Spentzou

You can find out more about members of the Centre, including details of their latest publications, on their individual profile pages:

  • Prof. Richard Alston - political receptions including imperialism and colonialism, Urbanism and the idea of the city, and political philosophy (Foucault, Arendt, and ancient politics)
  • Dr. Siobhan Chomse - the reception of the Roman emperor in contemporary art and culture
  • Dr. Liz Gloyn - classics in popular culture and the history of women in classics
  • Dr. Richard Hawley - the history of teaching Classics and classical treatments of gender
  • Dr. Zena Kamash - Middle Eastern heritage and archaeology; decolonising Classics; post-conflict reconstruction; archaeological ethics
  • Dr. Nick Lowe - Literary reworkings of the Classical plot, particularly focusing on popular culture and science fiction; intellectual history of late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  • Dr. Efi Spentzou - Feminist receptions of the Classical, with a particular focus on literary theorists and philosophies of the self, and the modern European poetical traditions. 


In 2018-19, the Centre ran a Celebration of the Centre  for the Reception of Greece and Rome attended by academics, alumni, students and other interested members of the public. We hosted an exciting seminar series, featuring Yun Lee Too, Margaret Malamud and Martin Revermann. In June 2019 the Centre also co-organised a Wikipedia Workshop, Rediscovering the Women of Royal Holloway and Bedford College, with the Bedford Centre and the sponsorship of Royal Holloway's RoWaN network. Members of the Centre were involved in Drawing on the Past – The Pre-modern World in ComicsHeidegger and the Classics and Tacitus For The Twenty-First Century: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Previous research events held under the auspices of the Centre include readings by poet and playwright Tony Harrison (Artist in Residence, RHUL, 2011); a conference on Civilisational Collapse at the British Library; the conference Eight Years in Babylon: The Iraq War and the ClassicsClassics and Class (at the British Academy); Ancient Aesthetics and Social Class; a conference on Antiquity and the Ruin in Paris; The Classics and France; Derrida and the ClassicsPsychogeographies in Latin LiteratureClassics and New Faces of Feminism; Poetics of War; and Women Writing the Classics.


The Centre has a distinguished publication record; these are some recent highlights of our various books, chapters and articles.

Richard Alston, Edith Hall, Justine McConnell, Ancient Slavery and Abolition: From Hobbes to Hollywood. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Richard Alston, Edith Hall, and Laura Proffitt. Reading Ancient Slavery. London: Bristol Classical, 2011.

Richard Alston and Shreyaa Bhatt, Foucault's Rome (Foucault Studies, 22) (2017). 

Liz Gloyn. Tracking Classical Monsters in Popular Culture. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.

William Fitzgerald and Efrossini Spentzou, The Production of Space in Latin Literature. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Nick Lowe. "The Rational Irrationalist: Dodds and the Paranormal.Rediscovering E.R. Dodds: Scholarship, Education, Poetry, and the Paranormal, eds. Christopher Stray, Christopher Pelling and Stephen Harrison. Oxford University Press, 2019.

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

They say the two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today