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Kathleen Cruz *20

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I earned my B.A., summa cum laude in Classics and English with a minor in Medieval Studies, from Cornell University in the spring of 2015. My Classics undergraduate thesis argued for a reevaluation of Odysseus’ performance as embassy leader in Book 9 of the Iliad based on an observable “learning curve” demonstrated by his actions throughout the epic. I also completed an English thesis on the impotency of Glámr’s curse in the Old Icelandic Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar.

 I am currently completing a dissertation titled The Poetics of Horror in Lucan's Bellum Civile and Statius' Thebaid, which argues that both epics can be profitably understood as works of horror. My framework for how we should define "horror" is built from work in philosophy of aesthetics and film studies, and the dissertation uses this theoretical grounding to open up passages of extreme violence and grotesquerie to better understand their poetics. 

 My broader interests include the conceptual treatment and physical manipulation of the body and interactions with ancient medicine and magic in Greco-Roman literature. I'm particularly interested in exploring these questions in post-Virgilian imperial Latin literature of 1st century CE. I also have interests in classical reception, primarily in Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean and, building off of my undergraduate research, in medieval Scandinavia. These two very different branches of reception come together for me in their mutual desire to grapple with a/the memory of the ancient world in their political discourse (and often by arguing for its expulsion).

 In my free time, I can usually be found baking a little too ambitiously or playing with my cats (although usually not at the same time!).