On Wednesday, I graduated from UCL with my PhD! This felt weirdly ceremonial and unreal, particularly as I officially received my degree at the end of February and got my certificate in the post several months ago. Also, because UCL is massive, they don’t even read out the title of your thesis; when I graduated from Royal Holloway with my BA, I remember the one PhD student graduating getting a brief description of her research read aloud. As it was, I was in the middle of a parade of maybe 25 Arts and Humanities PhDs, and not even next to my colleagues, who were classified under C for Classics while I was under G for Greek. I chose bad shoes, which were hurting already by the time I had to walk across the stage, and I was convinced I’d fall/lose a shoe/limp. But in spite of all that, it was a pretty wonderful day. My parents and friends whooped for me as I crossed the stage (as was encouraged by the Vice-Provost); my mum said afterwards she was about to cry, but turned it into a cheer. My Nanny, well into her 80s, was there along with my parents and my partner – I know it’s a cliché, but I really couldn’t have done it without all their support. In that spirit, I’ll close this brief post by reproducing my thesis acknowledgements – it’s strange to think it’s really, officially finished, but I’m excited for all the next steps.
First and foremost, my thanks go to my supervisor Chris Carey, who has been an unfailing guide as I wrote this thesis. When I began, I hardly knew where I was going with it, and it would not have grown into the shape that it did without our discussions and good-natured arguments. I also thank the staff of the Greek and Latin Department at UCL for their support and the opportunities they have offered me; particular thanks go to Peter Agocs, David Alabaster, Dimitra Kokkini, and Antony Makrinos.
Spending three months working at Yale University was a great privilege, which could not have occurred without the support of the Yale UCL Collaborative Exchange Programme and the UCL Doctoral School. I am very grateful to Victor Bers for his warm welcome, insightful comments, and continued support. My thanks also go to the graduate students of the Yale Department of Classics for making me feel so welcome, particularly Rachel Love and Jennifer Weintritt, and Bryant Kirkland for allowing me to speak at the Work-in-Progress seminar. I am also grateful to Adriaan Lanni for meeting with me while I was in America, and for her supportive and constructive comments.
For advising on the workings of the modern UK legal system and providing the highest level of specialist knowledge, my thanks go to John Lafferty. My proofreaders were invaluable: David Bullen, Emily Chow-Kambitsch, Joe Dodd, Tzu-I Liao, Rebecca Payne, and Andreas Serafim, who together caught my very glaring and amusing typos and offered helpful comments and essential moral support. I am also grateful for the support of my other colleagues and former colleagues in the department at UCL: Manuela dal Borgo, Emma Cole, Manuela Irarrazabal Elliott, Ioannis Lambrou, Victoria McVicar, and Oliver Schwazer, who have made my time at UCL so enjoyable and the process of writing the PhD far less daunting. And thanks to my friends – Hattie Kassner, Laura Sowman, and Kat Thompson – who have been there through thick and thin.
I really could not have done any of this without the support of my family: my Mum and Dad, Susan and David, who have supported me in every sense of the word at every stage of the process, and who I cannot thank enough for letting me pursue my dream. Thanks to my grandparents, who may not have always understood why I was doing it, but were always proud of me anyway. A special mention should go to Dada, who would have loved all of this Greek. This thesis is dedicated to my Grannie – here’s one for the boasting book.
Above all, thanks to Alex Burnett, who has seen me through the toughest times and brought me out of them laughing. Thank you for writing the soundtrack to this project, and to my life.