Rebecca Moorman specializes in Republican and early Imperial Latin literature, especially the aesthetics of emotion and multisensory experience in Latin poetry. She is particularly interested in how ancient philosophers, poets, and literary critics used disgust to create new pathways for knowledge and pleasure in Roman culture. Her current book project, The Allure of Disgust in Ancient Rome: Knowledge, Poetics, and the Senses, develops an overlooked aesthetic of disgust in Lucretius, Seneca, Persius, and Apuleius, arguing that Roman authors were so committed to sensory-based intellectual engagement that they even developed avenues for pleasure and instruction in the negative affective experience of disgust. Additional projects explore topics such as taste and socioeconomic distinction in Horace’s Epistles, forgetfulness in Persius’ Satires, and economic aesthetics in Petronius’ Satyricon. Rebecca’s research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
In her teaching, Rebecca emphasizes Greek and Roman culture’s enduring ability to grant new perspectives for understanding and articulating difference. In addition to Latin language and literature, she teaches courses on Roman culture and philosophy, satire, the ancient novel, and ancient horror. Off campus, you can find Rebecca snuggling with her two cats, puzzling through a crossword, or enjoying some of New England’s delicious oysters with a G&T in her hand.
Latin poetry; the ancient novel; disgust and sensory experience in antiquity; the ancient emotions; aesthetic theory and literary criticism; Hellenistic and Roman philosophy.