James Uden

James Uden

Assistant Professor of Classical Studies

2011 Ph.D. Columbia University (Classics)
2008 M.A. Columbia University
2005 LL.B. [Bachelor of Laws] (Hons) University of Sydney
2003 B.A. (Hons & University Medal) University of Sydney

  • STH 433; Office Hours (Fall 2014) Monday, 2-3; Friday, 11-12 or by appt.
  • 617-358-1765

Curriculum Vitae

Academia Webpage

My research and writing focuses broadly on Latin poetry and prose of the Empire and Late Antiquity, the literary culture of Imperial Greece, and the transformation of Greek and Roman ideas in later periods. My first book, The Invisible Satirist: Juvenal and Second-Century Rome (Oxford University Press, 2015), offers a new reading of the satires of the poet Juvenal. I argue that Juvenal engages with a far wider range of cultural influences in contemporary Rome (sophistic rhetoric, Cynic philosophy) than has previously been explored. His ‘invisibility’ in his verse is an attempt to convey the experience of a Roman longing for old certainties, but lost within the vast cosmopolitan Empire of the second century A.D. I continue to write and research in this period as co-investigator on the international research project ‘Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian’: see here for details: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/literaryinteractions. My second book project moves forward to eighteenth-century England, to show how authors of Gothic novels, dramas, and poetry worked within the shadows of Classical texts. Rather than forming a simple break with classicizing ideals, the “Gothic” became – at least for some writers – a new mode of reading the Greek and Roman past. I am also the author of articles and book chapters on various themes, including the poetry of Catullus and Vergil, ancient epigram, love elegy, and ancient fable.

Here at BU, I teach courses in Roman cultural history (“The World of Rome”), Latin language and literature, and in the Core Curriculum (“Late Antiquity and the Medieval World”). When I’m not reading old books, I run, play the guitar, see live music, and take long plane rides back to my native Australia. I am keen to work with students who are also passionate about Latin poetry, Imperial and Late Antique culture and society, and the metamorphosis of ancient literature in later periods.

Research Interests

Latin poetry, especially satire, epigram and fable; the cultural history of the second century A.D.; the invention of Christian Latin; Late Antiquity; the reception of Classical literature in English literature