Associate Professor of Classics
Office hours: by appointment
Research interests: Latin literature, especially Augustan poetry; Roman authors' use of the past, including the literary past; Virgil and his reception; Dionysus; Ireland and the Classics.
Research supervision: I am interested in supervising research students in Roman literature and culture and their reception. I value theoretically informed and interdisciplinary approaches, and have co-supervised with colleagues in other departments at UCL. I would be interested in co-supervising with colleagues at KCL, RHUL, the Warburg Institute, and the ICS.
I have recently co-supervised PhD theses on the imperial cult in Augustan poetry; Philodemus and Virgil; the modern reception of Greek tragedy; and narrative in Petronius; animals in Valerius Flaccus; and prophecy in the epic tradition. I am currently co-supervising PhD theses on the reception of Virgil's Arcadia, and narrative in Euripides' Trojan trilogy.
I completed a BA in Classics at Trinity College Dublin, and masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford.
My research interests range widely over Latin literature and the history of interpretation. I find it fascinating to explore how we use and understand antiquity, sometimes with modern lenses, and sometimes with ancient ones.
I am particularly interested in Dionysus in the ancient world, and in the later reception of the god, and was the historical consultant for a BBC documentary with Bettany Hughes entitled Bacchus Uncovered, which also featured Phiroze Vasunia.
At present I am finishing a book to be entitled Virgil's Dionysus, and several articles on Virgil.
I organized a conference on Dionysus in Rome and Italy. The proceedings of this conference, entitled Dionysus and Rome, have been accepted for publication by De Gruyter, in their Trends in Classics Supplementary Volumes series.
Together with Valentina Arena (UCL History) I organized a colloquium on Varro and antiquarianism in the late Roman Republic. The proceedings were published as Varronian Moments in 2017.
I am very interested in promoting discussion between readers of Classical literature and literature from other cultural contexts. To this end, I co-organized (with Peter Mack) a colloquium on Roman satire and its reception, which took place at the Warburg Institute in October 2014.
- 'Virgil's Bacchus and the Roman Republic.' In Augustan Poetry and the Roman Republic, ed. D. Nelis and J. Farrell, (Oxford, 2013), 124-145.
- 'The Shepherds Jubilee. A Dublin Eclogue from 1701.' In Vergilius 59 (2013), 81-110.
- 'Speeches' and 'Dialogue.' In The Virgil Encyclopedia, ed. R. F. Thomas and J. M. Ziolkowski (Harvard, 2014).
- 'Apollo and Dionysus in Virgil.' In Incontri di filologia classica XII (2012-13; publ. 2014), 191-238.
- 'The Mixed Blessings of Bacchus in Virgil's Georgics.' In Dictynna 11 (2014).
- 'The Argo: Archaic Wonder and Innovation.' In Maia 67.2 (2015), 233-251.
- 'Dionysus in Rome.' In A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology, ed. V. Zajko and H. Hoyle (Malden, 2017), 323-336.
- 'Dionysus.' In Oxford Bibliographies in Classics. Ed. Dee Clayman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Varronian Moments. Edited by Valentina Arena and Fiachra Mac Góráin. BICS 60-2 (2017).
- 'The Poetics of Vision in Virgil's Aeneid.' In Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 109 (2017), 383-427.
- 'Untitled/Arma virumque'. In Classical Philology 113.4 (2018), 423-448.
- 'Vergil's Sophoclean Thebans.' Vergilius 64 (2018), 49-74.
- The Cambridge Companion to Virgil (Second Edition). Edited by Fiachra Mac Góráin and Charles Martindale (Cambridge, 2019).