Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Metamorphosis in Latin Poetry

Module Code: CX280-15, CX380-15

Module Value: 15 CATS

Available in: Term 2 2021-2022

Module Teacher: Dr Elena Giusti


What is at stake in the fluidity of the metamorphic body? What does it tell us about conceptions of origins, science, politics, gender, the human and the animal, the animate and the inanimate? This module explores some instances of metamorphosis in Latin literature, and especially in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, with a focus on how Latin authors attempt to define and at the same time stretch the boundaries of what it means to be human. Special attention will also be paid to the political power of metamorphosis to disrupt hierarchical relations, dismantling old boundaries and creating new ones. Please note that the module will include discussion of sensitive topics such as sexual violence and gender identity.

Timetabled Teaching: 2 hours of class per week in term 2 (partly lecture, partly seminar) with an extra hour for those studying the texts in the original; 1 hour per week of revision class in Term 3, with an extra hour for those studying the texts in the original.

Assessment: One assessed essay of 2,500-3000 words in length in the second term (60% of the final mark); One 1-hour examination in the summer term consisting of two practical criticisms (40% of the final mark).