Benjamin Willstead

My DPhil research examines the epigrammatic corpus as represented in the Greek Anthology as a vibrant and continuous tradition of formal experiments in thinking about the relationship in Greek culture between the human and its nonhuman others. Working closely with the manuscript tradition, and through close readings of the epigrams themselves I examine range of characteristic epigrammatic formal features (anthropomorphism, closure, stylistic obscurity, variation and imitation, etc.), as different modes of attention, which each bring out distinct attributes of objects, animals, and works of art, without ever operating under the pretense of exhausting such objects completely.

Beyond my thesis I have an article forthcoming in Arethusa on metaphors of surface and depth in ancient literary criticism and am interested in narrative and style in ancient literary criticism, ancient Greek music and ancient riddles, especially when they intersect with ecocriticism. I am more broadly hopeful of methodological attempts to unite older formalist traditions with new materialist research in Classics.