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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History

Staff

Dr Erica Bexley, PhD (Cornell) MA, BA Hons (Melbourne)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41687
Room number: 204

Contact Dr Erica Bexley (email at erica.m.bexley@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Erica Bexley is an Assistant Professor in Classics and Ancient History with a special interest in Roman drama – both tragedy and comedy – and in literature of the Neronian age. Educated in Australia and the U.S., she came to the U.K. in 2014, working briefly at Cambridge and then at Swansea before taking up her post at Durham in 2017. She has published widely on Senecan tragedy, Lucan’s Pharsalia, Plautus, Terence, and ancient Roman performance culture. Her fascination for theatre first took root during her undergraduate days, when she participated in numerous amateur productions of classical plays, and although she no longer declaims on stage, this early experience of theatrical performance still underpins her research. Her work on Roman comedy and tragedy is governed by the conviction that plays are not just texts but events, and that enactment is a crucial part of their meaning. Currently, she is investigating the convergence of performance, human selfhood, and literary character in a monograph titled Identity in Senecan Drama: Character, Person, Text. This book examines how and where the fictional identities of Seneca’s dramatis personae intersect with Roman technologies of self-construction (e.g. exemplarity; decorum and constantia; physical appearance and gesture). She welcomes enquiries from any students wishing to pursue further study in the field of Latin literature.

Outreach

I am available to speak at schools on the following topics:

a) Theatre and Spectacle in Ancient Rome

b) Seneca: Philosopher, Tragedian, Statesman

c) Neronian Rome: literature, culture, history

d) Ancient Roman Comedy: Plautus and Terence

NB: These topics can also be adapted and made more specific as needed.

Research Interests

  • Seneca
  • Lucan
  • Roman Tragedy
  • Roman Comedy
  • Neronian Rome
  • Stoic Philosophy
  • Performance Theory (Ancient and Modern)

Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Book review

Newspaper/Magazine Article