Whether (for example) examining the intersection of ancient Latin and early modern English poetry, exploring the dynamics of Plutarch’s biographies within 19th-century Russian intellectual and political culture, tracing networks of Virgilian imagery in 19th-century European exploration narratives, or interrogating the audiovisual presentation of ancient history on television, we share a focus on the transition and transformation of ancient texts, images, artefacts, narratives and ideas into new forms and contexts. The theme of heroism in particular underscores much of our work. Archaeology features prominently in projects around Liverpool’s museum history and historical landscapes, locating our research within the University’s Heritage theme.
Our Group collaborates closely with the University’s Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Group and the Faculty research cluster on ‘Adaptation & Renewal’ (co-chaired by Fiona Hobden).
We also host joint events with the Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Research at the University of Liverpool not only reflects on receptions of antiquity but impacts upon those creative communities with an interest in and inspired by the ancient world. For example, the Documenting Antiquity Workshop, which met for the first time in July 2013 (organized by Fiona Hobden), offered a forum for media professionals and academics to explore issues surrounding the production, character, and future of factual programmes about ancient history.
In addition, Tom Harrison’s research on ancient and modern imperialism has influenced Australian theatre artist and practice-based researcher, Alison Richards, in her experimental performance paper ‘X Marks the Spot’ (23 August 2010, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne).
Phyllis Brighouse, a postgraduate member of the Receptions research group, writes and produces theatre drama inspired by her reading of Classical literature and her receptions research. She worked on the following productions with the University of Liverpool Drama Society to stage new adaptations of Athenian tragedy in the ‘Greek play'.
- Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (March 2013)
- Agamemnon by Aeschlyus (May 2012).
Phyllis' prizewinning entry in the 2012 Leverhulme Drama Festival, entitled ‘Talk to Me’, is a reworking of the myth of Cassandra set on the day of the Wall Street crash. The play developed out of her Liverpool MA dissertation, 'The unheeded voice: receptions of Cassandra'.