Dr Lilah Grace Canevaro (BA, MA, PhD, FHEA)
Senior Lecturer; Classics
Classics Outreach Officer
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
Co-founder of the Network for Working-Class Classicists
- The Greek World 1A: Greece in the Making
- Classical Literature 2A: Greek and Roman Epic
- Greek 1c/2a
- Ancient Literature from a Comparative Perspective
- Classical Receptions
- MSc Greek Text Seminar 1: Hesiod's Works and Days
Current PhD students supervised
Alice Rae, Trauma in British WW1 literaure and Classical Reception
Yolanda Panou, Filicide and intrafamilial crisis on stage in Greco-Roman antiquity
Denis Maksimov, A Political Tractate for the Future in Ancient Greece: Ideography of Power in Hesiod’s Theogony
Theshira Pather, Briseis and her reception
Ellie Wallis, John William Waterhouse and Classical Reception
Past PhD students supervised
Claudia Baldassi, The Leucippides in Greek Myth
Angeliki Pesmatzoglou, Emotional Politics in the Iliad
My research centres on ancient Greek poetry. 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 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
My new book, Theocritus and Things: Material Agency in the Idylls, was published in July 2023. This book contributes to the literary-theoretical field of Material Ecocriticism, expanding its chronological remit, and is the first to apply it to Classics. Material Ecocriticism has been described as an exercise in listening – and it is to a series of underrepresented agents (women, nature, the nonhuman) in the poetry of Theocritus that this book urges us to listen. This ‘from below’ reading that allows nature and materiality their agency, that sees objects and the labour behind them, gives a new way in to the paradoxes of Hellenistic pastoral poetry: the urban backdrop to bucolic poetry, the artifice of the locus amoenus. This book reveals a detailed picture of material agency and a diverse cast of characters human and nonhuman in Theocritus’ Idylls, showing that while the poetry might be paradoxical it is not rarefied. And through a dark-ecological reading it highlights the darkness that undercuts the idyll.
Knowledge Exchange and Impact
I am available for school talks and other outreach events - please get in touch!
- Theocritus and Things: Material Agency in the Idylls, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, July 2023.
- Women of Substance in Homeric Epic: Objects, Gender, Agency, Oxford: Oxford University Press, October 2018. Nominated for a Runciman Award 2018.
- Hesiod’s Works and Days: How to Teach Self-Sufficiency, Oxford: Oxford University Press, April 2015.
- Didactic Poetry of Greece, Rome and Beyond: Knowledge, Power, Tradition, co-edited with D. O’Rourke, Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 2019.
- Conflict and Consensus in Early Hexameter Poetry, co-edited with P. Bassino and B. Graziosi, Cambridge University Press, April 2017.
Articles and Chapters
- ‘Odyssey’ entry for the Poetry Criticism series vol. 258, LP Publishing, 2023.
- ‘Homer’ entry for the Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism series vol. 227, LP Publishing, 2022.
- ‘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 vol. 207, LP Publishing, 2020.
- ‘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).
- ‘The Agency of the Idyllic Landscape: Entanglement in Theocritus Idyll 21’, Preternature.
- ‘No Home-Coming for No-Bones: Hesiod’s Works and Days and the Odyssey’ in L. Doherty and G. Gazis (eds.) Brill Companion to the Reception of Homer in Archaic and Classical Poetry, Leiden. Co-authored with David Konstan.
- ‘Hesiod’s Pandora: Animal, vegetable, mineral’ in S. Bär and A. Domouzi (eds) Ancient Epic and Artificial Intelligence, Bloomsbury.
- ‘Iliad 14’ in the Oxford Critical Guide to Homer’s Iliad, ed. J. Ready, Oxford.
Short Articles / Blog Posts
- ‘Speaking Out About How We Speak’, December 2023, https://www.workingclassclassics.uk/blog/
- ‘5 Things Theocritus Can Teach Us About Things’, EUP blog, October 2023, https://euppublishingblog.com/2023/10/03/5-things-theocritus-can-teach-us-about-things/
- ‘Pandemic inequalities’, December 2022, https://www.workingclassclassics.uk/2022/12/20/pandemic-inequalities/
- ‘If Class Were a Protected Characteristic’, November 2021, https://www.workingclassclassics.uk/2021/12/01/if-class-were-a-protected-characteristic/
- 'Are the girls really silent? Women, weaving and words in Homeric epic’, Omnibus 2021, 82
- ‘Working-Class Classics: Myths, Stories and Experiences’, April 2021, https://www.workingclassclassics.uk/2021/10/27/working-class-classics-myths-stories-and-experiences/
- ‘Classics and the Unprotected Characteristic: Towards a Network of Working-Class Classicists’, April 2021, https://www.workingclassclassics.uk/2021/10/27/classics-and-the-unprotected-characteristic-towards-a-network-of-working-class-classicists/
- 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.