I studied English at King’s College, Cambridge (1992-95) before completely a PGCE in Secondary English at the University of Manchester (1995-96) and teaching English at King Edward’s School, Birmingham (1996-99) and Latymer Upper School in London (1999-2003). After a career break with young children I studied for an MA in Classical Studies with the Open University (2011-13) and in 2014 was awarded full funding for my PhD by the Open University.
Thesis subject: Tracing the Establishment of Political Society: Remembering and Forgetting in Ancient Greek Literature.
Supervisors: Dr Elton Barker, Prof Helen King, Dr Richard Crownshaw (Goldsmiths).
At the centre of my thesis is the idea that memory is a political process. The remembering or forgetting individual is part of society and so her or his memories are shaped by political forces. In turn, it is communicated by language – itself a political medium – and its communication moulds and modifies social groups. It is affective: re-working their shared sense of foundational history as well as the core values that express their sense of identity and inform their political structures and institutions.
My thesis uses a wide variety of memory theory, political theory and literary theory to underpin a close reading of a range of texts. In so doing it explores the ways in which memory affects the composition and reception of Homeric epic, classical tragedy and the written texts of Plato. It examines the ways in which memory forms and reforms political groups within texts but also focuses on moments where represented memory and audience memory intersect or differ, provoking reflection and debate and encouraging political ‘reading’ and a political mindset.