Elizabeth Potter

I studied for my first degree in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and for my research degrees in London: my MA was in Hellenic Studies and my PhD in Intellectual History. I have held Junior Research Fellowships in London and Bristol, (at the Institute of Historical Research in London and the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at Bristol University), and have also held two Studentships at the British School at Athens.

My research interests lie broadly in the Hellenic tradition, focusing on historiography and political thought. I am currently writing a book on the British fascination with ancient Greece in the modern period; concentrating on the nineteenth century, I explore the inspiration and the warning offered by classical Athens for Britain as it moved towards democracy. I have broader research interests in changing perceptions of the classical past across time (in Greece, Europe and beyond); in philhellenism; and in ancient political thought. I teach Archaic and Classical Greek History, Literature and Language.

As a Research Associate on this project, I primarily study the literary texts of the Second Sophistic as evidence for the social and cultural construction of emotions. Among many interests, I am considering the construction of acceptable limits for emotions; accusations of counterfeit emotions; the emotions that are cultivated in the relationships between individuals and gods, oracles, priests; whether authors try to gender certain emotions, and to what ends; and what is at stake in constructions of hope and of ‘eros’.