Dr Emily Pillinger
Lecturer in Latin Language and Literature
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2075
Address Department of Classics
Room C9, North Wing
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
After completing an undergraduate degree in Classics at New College, Oxford, I spent two years working as the Classics Teaching Fellow at Marlboro College, a small liberal arts college in Vermont (USA). I then moved to Princeton University where I studied for an MA and PhD, with Denis Feeney and Andrew Feldherr as my dissertation supervisors. Back in the UK, I spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Bristol University’s Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition. I subsequently taught as a lecturer in Latin literature at Balliol College, Oxford for two years, before joining the department of Classics at KCL in 2012.
- Latin poetry, with a focus on the late Republican and early Imperial eras
- The reception of Classics, particularly in music
My main research explores Latin (and some Greek) poetry and poetics. I work on themes that describe the power and fragility of both spoken and written communications, examining literary representations of characters prophesying, cursing, letter-writing, or trying to correspond with the dead.
I am interested in ancient and modern theories about translation, and I have written a book on the riddling but highly creative speech of Cassandra and the Cumaean Sibyl in Greek and Latin poetry. I also work on classical reception, and my current research investigates the use of Greco-Roman myth and history in music composed after the Second World War.
I am happy to supervise doctoral work in most areas of late Republican and early imperial Latin poetry, and to be involved in projects concerning the theory and reception of Classics in the 19th and 20th centuries.
For more details please see my full research profile.
- Cassandra and the Poetics of Prophecy in Greek and Latin Literature. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2018)
- ‘Finding asylum for Virginia Woolf’s classical visions’, in V. Zajko and H. Hoyle (eds.) Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology. Wiley Blackwell (2017) pp. 271-84
- 'Inventa est blandae rationis imago: Visualizing the Mausoleum of the Flavii’, Transactions of the American Philological Association 143 (2013) pp. 171-211
- ‘And the gods dread to hear another poem: The Repetitive Poetics of Witchcraft from Virgil to Lucan’, Materiali e Discussioni per l’Analisi dei Testi Classici 68 (2012) pp. 103-43
- ‘Translating Classical Visions in Berlioz’s Les Troyens’, Arion 18.2 (2010) pp. 65-103
For a complete list of publications please see my full research profile.
Expertise and Engagement
I teach modules for the degree programmes associated with the Department of Classics, and I also run modules designed specifically for students on the BA programme in Liberal Arts at King’s. Some of my modules are based on reading Latin prose and poetry in the original language, and others focus on studying Greek and Latin literature in translation, building an understanding of the ancient texts within their historical context and within broader cultural traditions.
I work closely with schools in the London area and beyond. I offer talks on A and AS level topics in Latin and Classical Civilisation, as well as more general talks on aspiring and applying to study at university. I have been involved in many outreach projects in collaboration with partners such as Mumsnet Academy, the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, and Radio 4.