Elaine Sanderson

Elaine Sanderson

Having completed her undergraduate and MA in Classics, Elaine joined the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egypotology, to complete her PhD in Lucanian Transformations: Civil War, Necromancy, and the Resurrection of Rome.

What were your main reasons for choosing to undertake postgraduate research at the University of Liverpool?

I chose to come to Liverpool because of the research interests and expertise of my supervisory team, who are leading experts in their fields.  I was also attracted by the uniquely interdisciplinary nature of the department, which has certainly helped to broaden my academic horizons and inform my research in ways I’d never considered before!

Can you summarise your postgraduate research in a few sentences?

My PhD thesis examines the presentation of civil war as a transformative process in Latin literature, specifically in Lucan’s Bellum Civile, a 10-book epic poem composed during the reign of the Emperor Nero. Beyond the thesis, my other research interests include Flavian epic poetry, ancient rhetoric, Senecan tragedy, and Classical Receptions in opera.  

What support have you received from the Liverpool Doctoral College?

I've benefitted from PGR week run by the Doctoral College, attending talks and workshops on academic presentation skills and professional development. I also completed the university’s graduate teaching training course to prepare for my teaching duties within my department.

How do you believe postgraduate research will help your career prospects?

I hope to pursue a career in academia, so I believe that the transferrable skills developed during postgraduate study through specific training initiatives and the management of independent research projects will be conducive to career progression.

What advice would you give to anyone considering undertaking a PhD?

I would advise anyone considering a PhD to spend a lot of time thinking about the feasibility of their proposed project (the stages of research involved, the resources required, and your existing skills in that area).  If possible, try and talk to a few potential supervisors about your ideas. I definitely found this helpful when refining my project for university and funding applications.