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Stoicism at Royal Holloway

Stoicism at Royal Holloway

Stoicism is a flourishing area of research at Royal Holloway.

Stoicism is a central research topic for Dr John Sellars (Philosophy) and Dr Liz Gloyn (Classics). Sellars has written multiple books on Stoicism, one of which has been described by reviewers as "excellent", "outstanding", and "the best introduction to the subject". Gloyn works primary on Seneca; her monograph The Ethics of the Family in Seneca was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017, and was described as "a significant achievement". 

Together they organized a workshop devoted to Musonius Rufus in April 2019 and are currently co-editing a volume on Musonius. This was the first in a series of Royal Holloway Stoicism Workshops, with the second - on ethics in the early Stoa - taking place (online) in April 2021. 

Sellars has recently completed a monograph on Marcus Aurelius (Routledge, 2020) and is currently editing The Cambridge Companion to Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. Gloyn has recently published on fathers, emperors and leadership in Stoicism, and is currently working on a major project exploring the ethics of the family in Seneca's tragic drama.

In recent years a number of doctoral students have completed PhD theses on Stoicism at Royal Holloway, on subjects as diverse as Stoic physics, Seneca and Epictetus. Many of these were completed under the supervision of Emerita Professor Anne Sheppard. Sellars and Gloyn are currently co-supervising doctoral work on Stoicism. They both welcome applications from prospective research students in this area.

Sellars is also one of the founder members of Modern Stoicism, the organization behind Stoic Week, and both Sellars and Gloyn have given public talks about how Stoicism might be useful to people today. Sellars is also involved in the creation of The Aurelius Foundation, which held its inaugural event in March 2020. His short, popular introduction, Lessons in Stoicism (Penguin, 2019), has been or is being translated into Greek, Korean, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. 

Since 2018, Seneca and his attitude to relationships has been part of the syllabus for the OCR A-level in Classical Civilization. Gloyn has worked extensively with the subject community of teachers to support them in delivering this content, through a series of targeted blog posts, school talks and engagement with CPD activities.


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