I am a scholar of Latin and Greek literature with a special interest in humorous and critical texts: comedy, satire, invective, and parody. My work explores how these funny texts interrogate social, legal, and aesthetic norms that are more typically studied in the context of more "serious" genres like epic, philosophy, and rhetoric.
My first book project is Appropriate Transgressions: Parody and Decorum in Greece and Rome. This monograph will put parodic literature (from Hegemon of Thasos' paroidiai and the Batrachomyomachia to Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Statius' Achilleid) in conversation with ancient philosophical, rhetorical, and literary-critical writings on decorum ("appropriateness"). It argues that parody, as a mode of imitation that transgresses against but nevertheless remains invested in norms of propriety, exposes the weaknesses and limitations of theoretical accounts of decorum by the likes of Plato, Cicero, and Quintilian.
My second book-length project, tentatively titled Madmen, Friends, and Cynics: Comic Free Speech in Greco-Roman Antiquity, turns to comedy as a traditional limit case for norms around frank expression. This project intervenes in recent debates around free speech, which too often center on the supposed rise of "cancel culture" and "political correctness," and on the capacity of speech to do or undo harm. We expect comedians to "tell it like it is" and to "speak truth to power," but can we think more capaciously about comedy's ability to be free, and make free? And in what sense can any speech be called "free" in the first place--free from what, and free for whom?
Beyond these projects, I maintain active interests in various areas of Latin and Greek literature, with work in progress on the emotions (the reception of Virgil's angry Juno; anger and disgust in Persius), the (ab)uses of ancient literature in colonial Neolatin (Plante's Mauritiados Libri XII), and translation studies (foreign language interpreters in Aristophanes and Plautus).
Before coming to Amherst in Fall 2022, I was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, Department of Classics. I received my PhD in Classics from Yale University in 2021, with the support of an ACLS / Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2020-21). In my home country of the Netherlands, I received a BA in Classics and MA in Literary Studies from Radboud University Nijmegen.