James Hua

My research focuses on population displacements and refugee crises in the Classical and Hellenistic Greek world. In particular, it reappraises the new identity that expelled poleis and citizens forged during exile and how they applied this identity in their political interactions. I aim to not only provide a new characterisation of this understudied but highly common phenomenon, but also re-evaluate ancient Greek social and political culture through this topical lens.

My research questions interrogate the implications of total expulsion on a city’s population: how did the shared experience of dislocation affect the identities of displaced peoples? How widespread was this identity; how did it interact with other identities? What political leverage did it provide displaced communities? How does this re-orient our interpretation of historical events and trends?

To enrich my research and converse with current issues, I am also engaging with modern refugee studies (especially involving ‘campzenship’) and more recent Greek migrations in the same regions (e.g. 1922, the past decade). I also aim to use my research to help rethink today’s refugee policy and am helping with refugee aid in Oxford. My project is supported by the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP, the Clarendon Fund, and Merton College. My other research interests lie in Greek epigraphy (particularly graffiti), Greek historiography, cross-cultural interactions, subaltern studies (especially ancient slavery), transhistorical comparisons with modern Greece (especially the 1922 population exchange), and the modern politics of ancient heritage. I participate in archaeological excavations as often as possible, to mark my commitment to interdisciplinarity in ancient history. I am also learning modern Greek.