Email: Kieren dot Johns at warwick dot ac dot uk / kieren dot a dot johns at gmail dot com
Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
I have recently completed my PhD thesis 'A Crisis of Consensus: The Epigraphic Representation of Imperial Status in the Latin-speaking West, AD 180-235', which was supervised by Professor Alison Cooley and Dr Clare Rowan, and examined by Professor Olivier Hekster and Dr Caillan Davenport. This research was generously funded through CADRE at the University of Warwick.
Previously, 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 the 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 PhD presented an analysis of the representation of imperial status in the Latin-speaking West of the Roman Empire, from AD 180-235. Focusing on the emperors from Commodus to Severus Alexander, it applied a quantitative analysis toward a data set of 1,826 inscriptions focusing especially on the variable use (and erasure) of honorific titles used to conceptualise imperial status. I investigated the processes of negotiation that occurred between different stakeholders in imperial society with regard to the representation of the Severan emperors in order to address the question of imperial legitimacy in an age of political instability. A map of the inscriptions collected for this reseach can be accessed via Google Maps.
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, material reuse, etc)
- The political use of art and architecture in ancient cities (especially ancient Rome)
- The Reception of antiquity, especially Roman Emperors and other ancient leaders in modern culture.
- CADRE Postgradaute Research Scholarship - Full Tuition and Maintenance (£14,777 per annum for 3.5 years)
- 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.
- Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2020/21)
- Introduction to Greek and Roman History
- Roman Culture and Society
- Sessional Teacher for the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2019/20)
- Roman Culture and Society
Co-organiser Postgraduate Colloquium, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2020).
- Co-organiser Work-in-Progress Seminar Series, Department of Classics and Ancient History, Universit of Warwick (2020/21)
Outreach and Other Roles
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.
Outreach Assistant, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick (2019/20)
SSLC Member (Secretary), Department of Classics and Ancient History (PGR), University of Warwick (2019/20).
- Roman Provincial Coinage Project, 2021
Volumes VII and VII.2
- 'Race, Sexuality, and Power: Receptions of the Severan Emperors', ARLT Summer Schools for Teachers 2021, Blundell's School, Tiverton (28th July, 2021)
Research 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) (Postponed due to Covid-19).
- 'Cette libyenneté en devenir' - Septimius Severus, Libyan Identity, and the Contested History of a 20th Century Statue', Contested Histories: Creating and critiquing public monuments and memorials in a new age of iconoclasm, Swansea University, Conflict, Reconstruction and Memory (CRAM) Reseach Group (June 2021).
As contributing writer:
- FORTHCOMING – 2023: Ancient Rome: The Definitive Visual History (London: DK)
- FORTHCOMING – 2024: 'Cette libyenneté en devenir' - Septimius Severus, Libyan Identity, and the Contested History of a 20th Century Statue', T. Irish, S. John, H. Lyons (eds) International Perspectives on the Past, Present and Future of Public Monuments (London: Bloomsbury Academic).
- University of Warwick Material Musings Blog, 2021
Post for the department of Classics and Ancient History's monthly blog on ancient material culture
- The Collector - 2020-present
Contributing writer for www.thecollector.com. Articles include:
- Elagabalus: Emperor of Opposites Explained
- Damnatio Memoriae: Destruction and Disgrace in Antiquity
- Septimius Severus: Rome's First African Emperor
- Roman Emperor Vespasian Restores Order to the Empire
- Emperor Trajan: Optimus Princeps and Builder of an Empire
- Antoninus Pius: Roman Emperor of Peace and Piety (8 Facts)
- Understanding Emperor Hadrian and His Cultural Expansion
- Marcus Aurelius: Was He The Greatest Roman Emperor?
- Emperor Commodus: 7 Facts on the Roman Emperor
- Was Caracalla More than a Bloodthirsty Tyrant? (9 Facts)
- Was Constantine a 'Great' Emperor?
- Rome's Crisis in the 3rd Century: A Look at 7 Key Events in History
- Theodosius the Great: Saint or Sinner? 8 Key Events in His Life
- Justinian the Empire Restorer: The Byznatine Emperor's Life in 9 Facts
- For the Glory of the Empire? The Roman Triumph Explained
- Roman Emperors and their salacious sex lives
- Spartacus and the Slave Rebellion Against Rome
- Domitian: Revising Roman Tyranny
- The Colosseum: Roman Arena of Death
- Trajan's Dacian War
- Capital Collapse: The Falls of Rome
- Roman Women You Should Know
- The Parthian Empire vs the Roman Empire: 160s CE
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: History, Legends, and More
- TimeTravelRome Mobile App and Website, 2018-present
Content researcher and writer for a digital app detailing history and archaeology of ancient sites: https://www.timetravelrome.com/ .
Blog posts include:
- History Adventures, World of Characters - Historical consultant and content creator
- Interactive education app: https://www.historyadventures.co/
- Global Pandemics: Plague of Athens - Historical consultant and content creator
- An award winning interactive educational app focusing on the impact of a pandemic on an ancient society. Available free for web-browsers, and coming soon to VR.