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Kieren Johns

Postgraduate Researcher

Email: Kieren dot Johns at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


I am a second year PhD student supervised by Professor Alison Cooley and Dr Clare Rowan. I received first class honours in my BA degree in History and Ancient History with Study Abroad from the University of Exeter in 2014, and a Distinction in my MA Classics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter in 2016. I have studied at University College Utrecht in the Netherlands (2012-13) as part of my BA, and in 2016 I spent two months at the British School at Rome, completing an extended research project as part of my MA (Competition and Continuity: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Euergetic Imperial Ideology and Monumental Construction in the Thermae of Trajan, Caracalla, and Diocletian). My current research project is generously funded through CADRE at the University of Warwick.

I am currently acting as the Postgraduate Outreach Assistant for the Department.


I am currently researching the representation and conceptualisation of Severan imperial authority in the Latin West, from AD 180 to 235. With a focus on material evidence, and a quantitative approach to epigraphic data, I am seeking to understand the processes of negotiation that occurred between relevant sectors of Roman society in the framing of imperial authority and legitimacy. In an age of imperial transformation, the material evidence allows us to explore the importance of tradition and the potential power of innovation in terms of how the emperors and the imperial populace were could either consolidate or challenge political power.

Other Research Interests

  • Alongside my main thesis research I am also interested in the following:

    - Collective memory and its relationship to the material environment (especially practices such as damnatio memoriae, spolia, etc)

    - The urban fabric of ancient cities (especially ancient Rome)

    - The Reception of antiquity, especially Roman Emperors and other ancient leaders, in modern material culture.

Outreach and Other Roles

  • Outreach Assistant, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2019/20)

  • Sessional Teacher for the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2019/20) - Roman Culture and Society

  • Sessional Teacher for the Sutton Trust Summer School Programme (hosted at University of Warwick, 2019) - Uncovering the Classical Body: The Body in Ancient Greek and Roman Art.

  • SSLC Member (Secretary), Department of Classics and Ancient History (PGR), University of Warwick (2019/20)

  • Co-organiser Postgraduate Colloquium, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2020)

Papers Delivered

  • 'Von Gemeinschaft zur Gesellschaft: Receptions of Classical Antiquity in the Creation of the National Socialist Community in Germany, 1933-1945', Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World, University of Edinburgh (November 2017)

  • 'Between Restoration and Ruination: Assessing the Urban Legacy of Alexander Severus', University of Liverpool Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Seminar Series (ACE Seminars), University of Liverpool (March, 2019)

  • 'What's in a Name? Imperial Authority and the Choice of Titles in the Reign of Septimius Severus', Celtic Classics Conference, Universidade de Comibra (June 2019)

  • 'Absurd Authority & Imperial Inversions: Imperial Expectations in the Reign of Elagabalus (218 - 222 AD), World Upside-Down: Absurdities, Inversions, and Alternate Realities, Columbia University (November 2019)

    ' "A Most Valiant Lion and a Most Cunning Fox": Negotiating the Political Authority of the "Outsider" Through Septimius Severus', Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World, Radboud Universiteit (November 2019)

    'Happy Families? The Disruption of the Domus Divina and the Construction of Caracallan Authority', Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History, University of Exeter (March 2020)


  • Departmental MA Dissertation Prize, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter (November 2016) Awarded for my MA dissertation: Memory and the Construction of Collective Identity: An Analysis of the Function of Damnatio Memoriae and Spolia in Imperial Rome, 192AD-337AD.