About our staff
Dr Lilah Grace Canevaro
BA, MA, PhD, FHEA
Lecturer in Greek; Classics
Other affiliated schools
I come from a working-class background in South Shields, an ex-mining and shipbuilding town in the North East of England that boasts its very own Roman fort. I stayed close to home to study Classics (BA) and Ancient Epic (MA) at Durham University, and was awarded my PhD in Classics in January 2013. I then spent a year in Heidelberg, Germany, as Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellow. I came to Edinburgh as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in autumn 2013, and took up a Lectureship in Greek in September 2018.
Editor of Edinburgh University Press book series 'Ancient Cultures, New Materialisms'
Treasurer for the Scottish Hellenic Society of Edinburgh
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Near East
- Ancient Civilisations
- Comparative & Global History
- Landscapes & Monuments
- Language & Literature
- Material Culture
My research centres on ancient Greek poetry, archaic epic and didactic in particular. I am interested in the modes of reading which ancient poetry invites, and try in my research to track such readings from the invitation (through close reading of the poems themselves) to the response to it (the reception of the poems).
In much of my research I make connections between Greek literature and other cultures and time periods, a particular interest being Victorian poetry and art. I draw on comparative and reception methodologies, and am starting to explore ways in which the cognitive sciences can be brought to bear on archaic Greek poetry.
My current focus is on the New Materialisms, and their potential applications within Classics. I am co-editor of the Edinburgh University Press book series 'Ancient Cultures, New Materialisms', which is now open to proposals.
Current research activities
Women in Greek epic are treated as objects, yet they also use objects to negotiate their own agency, subverting the male viewpoint by utilizing the very form they themselves are thought by men to embody. My 2018 book, Women of Substance in Homeric Epic: Objects, Gender, Agency comes at a turning point in the gendering of Homeric studies, shining new light on the Iliad and Odyssey by bringing together Gender Theory and the burgeoning field of New Materialisms to decentre the male subject and put centre stage not only the woman as object but also the agency of women and objects.
In my first monograph, Hesiod’s Works and Days: How to Teach Self-Sufficiency (OUP 2015), I argue that the poem’s structure and the modes of reading it invites reflect the interplay between self-sufficiency as the Iron-Age ideal and the very point of didactic literature, which necessarily involves at least some reliance on a teacher. My work on the Works and Days has led to articles on gender, genre and addressees in the poem, and a comparative piece on the Old Norse didactic poem Hávamál. I have also been working on Hesiod’s poetry from the perspective of the cognitive sciences, applying tenets from cognitive psychology to the Works and Days to reveal the sophistication already present in the archaic wisdom tradition.
I am currently extending my new-materialist readings into later poetry (through a material-ecocritical approach to Theocritus) and into prose (considering the role of things in Herodotus' Histories).
- The Greek World 1A: Greece in the Making
- Classical Literature 2A: Greek and Roman Epic
- Greek 1c/2a: Odyssey Books 6 and 7, Iliad Books 6 and 22
- Ancient Literature from a Comparative Perspective
- Classical Receptions
- MSc Greek Text Seminar 1: Hesiod's Works and Days
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- Hesiod’s Works and Days: How to Teach Self-Sufficiency, Oxford: Oxford University Press, April 2015.
- Women of Substance in Homeric Epic: Objects, Gender, Agency, Oxford: Oxford University Press, October 2018. Nominated for a Runciman Award 2018.
- Conflict and Consensus in Early Hexameter Poetry, co-edited with P. Bassino and B. Graziosi, Cambridge University Press, April 2017.
- Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition, co-edited with D. O’Rourke, Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 2019.
Articles and Chapters
- ‘Think for yourself: Hesiod’s Works and Days and Cognitive Training’ in L.G. Canevaro and D. O’Rourke (2019) (eds.) Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 53-74.
- ‘Introduction’, in L.G. Canevaro and D. O’Rourke (2019) (eds.) Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales. Co-authored with D. O’Rourke, 1-20.
- ‘Materiality and Classics: (Re)Turning to the Material’, Review Article, Journal of Hellenic Studies 2019, 139: 1-11.
- ‘Hesiod’ author entry for the Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism series, LP Publishing – consultant.
- ‘Commemoration through objects? Homer on the limitations of material memory’ in M. Giangiulio, E. Franchi and G. Proietti (2019) (eds.) Commemorating War and War Dead. Ancient and Modern, Steiner Verlag.
- ‘Women and Memory: the Iliad and the Kosovo Cycle’ in L. Castagnoli and P. Ceccarelli (2019) (eds.) Greek Memories: Theories and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 53-67.
- ‘Rhyme and Reason: The Homeric Translations of Dryden, Pope, and Morris’ in S. Bär and E. Hauser (2018) (eds.) Reading Poetry, Writing Genre: English Poetry and Literary Criticism in Dialogue with Classical Scholarship, London / New York: Bloomsbury, 94-116.
- ‘Hellenistic Hesiod’, in A. Loney and S. Scully (2018) (eds.) Oxford Handbook to Hesiod, Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press, 325-41.
- ‘Anticipating Audiences: Hesiod’s Works and Days and Cognitive Psychology’ in J. Lauwers, H. Schwall and J. Opsomer (2018) (eds.) Psychology and the Classics: A Dialogue of Disciplines, Berlin: De Gruyter, 142-57.
- ‘Fraternal conflict in Hesiod’s Works and Days’, in P. Bassino, L.G. Canevaro and B. Graziosi (2017) (eds.) Conflict and Consensus in Early Hexameter Poetry, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 173-89.
- ‘Introduction’, in P. Bassino, L.G. Canevaro and B. Graziosi (2017) (eds.) Conflict and Consensus in Early Hexameter Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-14. Co-authored with B. Graziosi and P. Bassino.
- ‘Witches and Wicked Objects’, New Voices in Classical Reception Studies 2015, 10: 27-41.
- ‘Hesiod and Hávamál: Transitions and the Transmission of Wisdom’, Oral Tradition 2014, 29.1: 99-126.
- ‘Genre and Authority in Hesiod’s Works and Days’, in C. Werner, B.B. Sebastiani and A. Dourado-Lopes (2014) (eds.) Gêneros poéticos na Grécia antiga: confluências e fronteiras, São Paulo: Humanitas, 23-48.
- ‘The Homeric Ladies of Shalott’, Oxford Classical Receptions Journal 2014, 6.2: 198-220.
- ‘The Clash of the Sexes in Hesiod’s Works and Days’, Greece and Rome 2013, 60.2: 185-202.
- ‘A Woman of Consequence: Pandora in Hesiod’s Works and Days’, Cambridge Classical Journal 2011, 57: 9-28 (published as Lilah Grace Fraser).
Short Articles / Pieces for the General Public
- Interview for 'Comfort Classics', March 2020, https://classicalstudies.support/2020/03/31/comfort-classics-lilah-grace-canevaro/
- Announcing ‘Women of Substance in Homeric Epic’ on the OUP blog, March 2019, https://blog.oup.com/2019/03/women-homeric-epic/
- Announcing ‘Women of Substance in Homeric Epic’ on the blog ‘Classical Studies Support’, September 2018, https://classicalstudies.support/2018/09/07/women-of-substance-in-homeric-epic/
- ‘Homeric Women Made Material’, published online as part of the University of Edinburgh IASH ‘Dangerous Women’ project: https://dangerouswomenproject.org/2016/05/10/homers-dangerous-women/
- William Morris’ The Earthly Paradise: what it means to be ‘the idle singer of an empty day’’, Revista Almatroz 2013, 1.