Name: Margaret Clark
Current: Classics, supervised by Andrew Riggsby
Previous: BA in Classics from Middlebury College, Master of Studies (MSt) in Greek and/or Latin Languages, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Research topic: Historiography of Roman Civil War—Civil wars and uprisings occurred throughout Roman history, most famously between Caesar and Pompey and between Octavian (Augustus) and Antony in the first century BCE. I study how these events are remembered and re-used by contemporary and later Roman writers. Through this research, I hope to contribute to a wider understanding of the rhetoric surrounding civil war and civil conflict in general.
How did you choose your field of study? I spent my junior year of high school in a Classics-oriented study abroad program in Italy. That experience allowed me to see the Romans as people who existed in the same way that I do now, not just as characters in a book. I am also from Mississippi, so the lingering effects of the U.S. civil war have always influenced how I understand the world and my place in it.
Mentors? My earliest mentors were my middle and high school Latin teachers. Later, I worked as a research assistant for my undergraduate adviser, Christopher Star, helping him finish his book. That was a transformative experience for me, as I came to understand how a long-term research project worked. I keep in fairly regular contact with Professor Star and another Classics professor at Middlebury, Jane Chaplin, who also works on Roman historiography.
Why UT? The Classics department here at UT has an excellent reputation when it comes to studying Roman historiography. But before coming to UT, I had only studied at much smaller, private institutions. I had no idea what being a part of such a massive student population would be like. I am enjoying the change of pace now, and I know that it will be useful in the future to be familiar with different kinds of academic institutions.
Any hobbies? Avid New Orleans Saints fan, southern cook extraordinaire, and future half-marathoner (February 2014)