After completing a BA in Ancient History at the University of Nottingham, I came to Oxford as a graduate student to study for an MPhil in Classical Archaeology. My research looked primarily at the historical interpretation of key images and monuments, with a focus on areas such as Greek and Roman sculpture, and mythological and historical narrative. For my work at undergraduate and graduate level I have been awarded the Shariyah Shafi, Edward Thompson, and Classical Archaeology departmental prizes for academic achievement. On the DPhil, I aim to address the role and meaning of divine figures in Roman historical art, directing my research towards the strange intersection of historical narrative imagery and the representation of divine power that these monuments present. Supervised by Professor Bert Smith, my project has the provisional title: Gods and Heroes in Historical Narrative, 30 BC-AD 250; and is in a wider sense motivated by my belief in the foundational role of the humanities, particularly the classics, in our society, and the idea that an understanding of our history, art, and culture tells us who we are.
Outside my academic work I have visited many museums and archaeological sites throughout Europe, and was able to gain professional experience in this area by working as an assistant to the Finds Liaison Officer in the archaeological department of Leicestershire County Council. I am interested in teaching and communicating the humanities, particularly to younger audiences, and was able to engage in this through volunteer work at Avenue Primary School in Leicester, where I helped to run school trips to post-classical archaeological sites in Leicestershire, and used my university experience to produce a book on Roman slavery for use in classrooms. Since summer 2018 I have been involved in fieldwork at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, where I have excavated the site of the so-called temple of Pluto.
I hope to extend these activities during my time as an Ertegun scholar and am very grateful for the financial, academic, personal, and other assistance that this generous scholarship provides. I look forward to contributing to and learning from the Ertegun community.