The Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition
Founder: Professor Robert Fowler, FBA
President: Professor Robert Fowler, FBA
Former President: Sir Jeremy Morse, KCMG †
Vice-Presidents: Professor Mary Beard FBA; Professor P.E. Easterling FBA; Dr Ian Jenkins OBE FSA; Dr Peter Jones MBE; Professor David Konstan; Sir Michael Llewellyn Smith KCVO CMG; Professor Martha C. Nussbaum FBA; Mr George C. Rodopoulos; Professor Salvatore Settis; The Rt Hon Lord Waldegrave of North Hill; Professor Marina Warner FBA FRSL; Professor P.M. Warren FBA FSA.
Administrator: Anona Williams
Leventis Fellow: William Guast; former Fellows
Morgan Scholar: Milo Rengel; former Scholars
P.M. Warren Visiting Professors Dr Constantinos Paschalidis and Dr Constance von Rüden; former Visiting Professors
A.G. Leventis Fellow in Greek Studies
William Guast works on the Greek rhetoric of the Roman empire. His doctoral thesis, which he is currently revising for publication as a monograph, examines the genre of Greek declamation. Rejecting the traditional conception of the genre as ‘escapist’ or ‘nostalgic’, William argues that despite its famous classicism of language and theme, declamation nonetheless remained firmly anchored in the present of the Roman empire, and had much to say to that present, in particular as regards contemporary culture and politics, the declaimers' public identities, and developments in rhetorical theory. He is also doing preliminary work for a second project investigating 'the rhetoric of rhetoric', i.e. how a rhetorical theory (or indeed any theory) sells itself in the marketplace of ideas.
William completed an undergraduate degree in Classics at Christ Church Oxford, and then spent two years teaching Classics to undergraduates in the US at Marlboro College in Vermont. On returning to the UK in 2012, he took a master’s degree and doctorate back at Oxford, this time at Corpus Christi College, where he was also MCR President and Assistant Dean.
Part of his role as Leventis Fellow is to support Bristol’s outreach work in Classics, and William has previously been involved with the East Oxford Classics Centre as well as Wadham College’s Classics Summer School and the University of Oxford’s UNIQ Summer School.
Bec received their Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 2016 from the University of Western Australia, with a dissertation on the aspects of immortality explored in Aristophanes’ Frogs. They are now reading for an MPhil focusing on gender ambiguity and variance in Classical and Hellenistic Greece under the supervision of Dr Pantelis Michelakis and Dr Kurt Lampe. In particular, they will be focusing on examples of individual bodies and life experiences that occupied an intermediary or transitionary space between male and female, masculine and feminine; people who would today be considered among transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender-non-conforming identities.
Although gender ambiguous individuals are often mentioned in discussions of ancient sex and gender, they are rarely the focus of an argument. Bec will consider how gender ambiguity can contribute to our larger understanding of sex and gender in the ancient world, as well as the contribution it can make to modern debates on queer theory, gender studies, and popular culture.