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Miss Alexandra Kelly

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Member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History  


I hold a BA (2017) in Modern and Medieval Languages (French and German) from Murray Edwards College, Cambridge and an MA (2019) in Classics from University College, Durham. I am currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Classics Department, leading undergraduate seminars for the modules Traditions of Epic and Death in the Classical World, and hope to also be a GTA in the French Department next year. Additionally, I am the Lead Convenor of the Postgraduate Work in Progress sessions in Modern Languages and Cultures, my secondary Department.

Doctoral Research Project: Performativity of Gender, Truth, and Translation in Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Ovide moralisé

My research project focuses on the gender presentation of female characters in both the Metamorphoses and the Ovide moralisé. Iphis (Met. 9.666-797) is an especially intriguing example as she undergoes a transformation (or transition) from female to male. Close analysis of the transformation scene reveals gender to be performative, a cultural construction produced, and exposed by, its performance in front of others. My PhD thesis will compare the presentations of female characters such as Iphis in both texts in order to trace the development of the categories of gender. This project will also explore the parallels between Iphis' struggles with her sexuality and the modern experience of coming to terms with one's sexuality.

From its title, the Ovide moralisé could easily be mistaken for nothing more than a moralising translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. However, my research project will explore the complexities of translation studies in order to demonstrate that the Ovide moralisé has merit as a text of study in its own right. Comparative analysis of both texts will reveal that the concept of "truth" is central to both; problematised in the Metamorphoses and revealed as a source of constant tension with regards to the Ovide moralisé's claim that it reports the myths Selonc ce qu' Ovides les baille ("according to the way Ovid gives them").