MSt in Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature
Hailing from Beijing, China, I graduated with a BA summa cum laude in Classics from Middlebury College, Vermont, and my other educational experiences include high school in Harare, Zimbabwe and a junior-year semester abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. I was first attracted to the Greco-Roman antiquity by my fondness for language-learning, but as I read more from ancient authors, I realized the tremendous impact they have left on posterity in almost all aspects of intellectual activity.
My research focus for the MSt course will be ancient pastoral poetry. I plan to trace its development from early classical Greece to the Roman Empire, and examine how nature is used as a medium for personal expression. I have been a longtime reader of traditional Chinese poetry, in which nature plays a crucial role; I am particularly interested in looking for, in the pastoral genre, a common ground of poetic experience between the two vastly divergent literary worlds. The theme of nature perceived by poets living in an urbane and sophisticated environment (an attribute shared by poets East and West) may also shed light on the existential dimension of how one’s life relates to the objective world. To this end, I would also like to explore pastoral elements in more “serious” forms of literature such as epic and tragedy, where poetry often leaps into the realms of philosophy and cosmology.
I am extremely honored to be part of the Ertegun community, where I could get to know and share ideas with so many talented scholars from various backgrounds. I am grateful for the privileges and opportunities made possible by Ahmet and Mica Ertegun, and I look forward to an exciting and rewarding year of intellectual nourishment at Oxford.