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Dr Tony Keen

Tony Keen

Profile summary

  • Honorary Associate
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Art His, Class St, Eng&CW, Mus
  • Classical Studies
  • a.g.keen

Professional biography

I’ve been a student of the ancient world since beginning studying Latin at school in 1976. I gained an M.A. in Ancient History and Greek from the University of Edinburgh in 1987, and Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Manchester in 1993, delivering a thesis on A Political History of Lycia and its Relations with Foreign Powers during the ‘Dynastic’ Period, c. 545–362 B.C. In 2012 I gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice from the Open University.

I was a Part-Time Student Assistant Tutor at the University of Manchester from 1990 to 1994, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ancient Greek History at Queen’s University Belfast from 1994 to 1997, Foreign Expert in Classics at the Northeast Normal University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China from 1997 to 1998, and Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London from 1998 to 1999. I then spent a period working in industry before returning to full-time academia in 2011.

I have been an Associate Lecturer for the Open University since 2000. I currently teach A330 Myth in the Greek and Roman Worlds and A863 MA Classical Studies Part 1. I have previously taught AA309 Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire, A219 Exploring the Classical World, AA310 Film and Television History, and A397 Continuing Classical Latin.

I am also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Roehampton, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway, and a Part-Time Lecturer at Middlesex University. I used to edit CA News for the Classical Association, and am a committee member for the British Science Fiction Association and the Science Fiction Foundation.

Research interests

My original research was on Greek History, focussing in particular in Greek relations with the Near East. Since 2001, my research has focussed upon the reception of Greece and Rome in modern science fiction and fantasy. I have delivered numerous papers at conferences and conventions, and written a number of articles and chapters. I organized a conference on this subject, ‘Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space’, which took place in Liverpool in June/July 2013, and am working on a book, Martial’s Martians and Other Stories: Studies in Science Fiction and Fantasy and Greece and Rome (Harold Wood, Beccon Publications, forthcoming). I also review science fiction works, and have edited a collection on Doctor Who. I am also planning a book on Screening Roman Britain, to be written in collaboration with OU Associate Lecturer Juliette Harrisson.


2015: ‘“Wulf the Briton”: Resisting Rome in a 1950s British Boys’ Adventure Strip’, in L. Maurice (ed.), The Reception of Ancient Greece and Rome in Children’s Literature. Leiden, E.J. Brill, pp. 280-290.

2015: ‘Mr. Lucian in Suburbia: Links between the True History and The First Men in the Moon’, in B.M. Rogers and B.E. Stevens (eds), Classical Traditions in Science Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 105-120.

2014: ‘The Pros and Cons of Para-Academia’, in A. Wardrop & D. Withers (eds), The Para-Academic Handbook: A Toolkit for–Making–Learning–Creating–Acting. Bristol: HammerOn, pp. 243-249.

2014: ‘Femme parfaite sur commande: Le mythe de Pygmalion dans deux romans de science-fiction et fantasy’, in M. Bost-Fiévet & S. Provini (eds), L’Antiquité dans l’imaginaire contemporain: Fantasy, science fiction, fantastique.  Paris: Classiques Garnier, pp. 205-213.

2013. ‘Greek Elements in the Sinbad Movies of Ray Harryhausen: A Lesson In Reception’, in S.J. Green and P. Goodman (eds), Animating Antiquity, special issue of New Voices in Classical ReceptionFull paper available online.

2012: ‘The best things come in threes: The Triple Goddess in the works of Neil Gaiman’, in A. Burdge, J. Burke, K. Larsen (eds.), The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman.  New York: Kitsune Books, pp. 125-130.

2012: ‘Death and Transcendence in the “Forged” Novels of Justina Robson’, Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association 269, pp. 7-9.

2011: The Unsilent Library: Essays on the Russell T Davies Era of the New Doctor Who (ed., with Simon Bradshaw and Graham Sleight).  London: Science Fiction Foundation.

2011: ‘Putting the Past into the Future: The Time's Tapestry sequence’, Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association 265, pp. 29-33.

2010: ‘Sideways Pompeii!  The use of a historical period to question the Doctor’s role in history’, in Ross P. Garner, Melissa Beattie & Una McCormack (eds.), Impossible Worlds, Impossible Things: Cultural Perspectives on Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 94-117.

2010: ‘It’s about Tempus: Greece and Rome in “classic” Doctor Who’, David C. Wright, Jr. and Allan W. Austin (eds.), Space and Time: Essays on Visions of History in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television.  Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, pp. 100-115.

2009: ‘Euripides Bound: Hal Duncan’s use of Greek tragedy’, Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association 260, Summer 2009, pp. 16-20.

2008: ‘Alternate histories of the Roman empire in Stephen Baxter, Robert Silverberg and Sophia McDougall’,Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 102, Spring 2008, pp. 71-86.

2006: ‘1994: Vurt – Jeff Noon.  Feathers into an Underworld’, in Paul Kincaid (ed., with Andrew M. Butler),The Arthur C. Clarke Award: A Critical Anthology.  Daventry: Serendip Foundation, pp. 97-107.

2006: ‘Homoeroticism in Troy and Alexander’, CA News 34 (June 2006), pp. 1-2.

1998: Dynastic Lycia: a political history of the Lycians and their relations with foreign powers, c. 545-362 B.C.  Leiden: Brill.


2010: Review of Laurie Maguire, Helen of Troy: From Homer to HollywoodClassical Review, n.s. 60.2, pp. 589-591.

2009: ‘City at the Edge of Time by Greg Bear’, Strange Horizons Reviews, 4 February 2009.  Read this review online.

Conference and Seminar Papers

2011: ‘On second thoughts, let’s not go to Camelot: situating the “historical Arthur” through casting in King Arthur and The Last Legion’, ‘Cinema and Antiquity 2001-2011’, University of Liverpool, July 2011. This document is available online from

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