James Hua

My research interests primarily lie in the phenomenon of population displacements in the Classical and early Hellenistic Greek world, in particular in re-evaluating them through the lens of emic social memory. Although scholars have studied these population displacements in relation to etic civic ideology and as logistical tools of empire, less attention has been devoted to how these displaced people themselves moulded their identities during and after their displacements. Instead, by studying the carefully remoulded narratives and memories that these people crafted, I aim to evaluate how displaced peoples constructed new, meaningful ‘displaced identities’ and developed them into a recognised discourse which offered them a unique degree of ‘tangible' political power in their interstate negotiations. To do this, I analyse the manipulations and uses of social memory in evidence output by these displaced peoples (often overlooked), especially epigraphy, local histories, funerary culture, archaeology, and oratory. More broadly, I am also interested in Greek Epigraphy (particularly of the Aegean islands and Western Asia Minor, but also with recent work on the herders' graffiti from Attica, their identities, and degrees of literacy), Greek historiography, social memory and identity formation cross-culturally, ancient slavery and ‘subaltern’ contingents more broadly, and refugee crises today (with ancient and modern comparisons, especially via the 1922 Greco-Turkish population exchange). I am also working on the archaeology and history of Mt Olympus and the poleis on its slopes.

Additionally, I volunteer in the Ashmolean’s Heberden coin room and the CSAD’s Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions, study modern Greek, and blog on Classics today more broadly. I completed my BA in Classics at Durham, with a dissertation on the uses of social memory in Thucydides’ narrative in the Chalcidice, and have worked in various excavations in Greece (reflecting my deep commitment to interdisciplinary in ancient history).