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Dr. Madeleine Scherer

2018-2019: Early Career Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Warwick
2014- 2018: Ph.D., University of Warwick
2013- 2014: M.A., Department of Classics, Durham University (Distinction)
2010- 2013: B.A., Department of English and Related Literature, University of York

As a scholar in modern and contemporary literature, my specific research interests pertain to postcolonial literature, classical reception, reception studies, comparative literature, world systems, and to a lesser degree also include literature and philosophy and feminist literature. I am particularly interested in the kind of negotiations Seamus Heaney describes in his essay ‘Place and Displacement’, in which ‘[t]he poet [is] stretched between politics and transcendence’, which may ‘explain the large number of poems in which the Northern Irish writer views the world from a great spatial or temporal distance, the number of poems imagined from beyond the grave, from the perspective of mythological or historically remote characters’.

As the main facet of this preoccupation I explore the reasons why modern writers continuously return to classical antiquity. This intertextual negotiation with the classics often involves both a reach for universality or transcendence, at the same time as an attempt to retain local specificity as the classical trope or narrative is integrated into the adaptation culture. As my research focusses primarily on postcolonial case-studies, I read classical reception as a simultaneous engagement with the reception history of the classical canon and with a political context in which the status of antiquity is often a complex one. My research approach and methodology are primarily influenced by my attempt to conceptualise the kind of longue durée‘history in ideas’ David Armitage has described in his 2012 article ‘What’s the Big Idea?Intellectual History and the Longue Durée’; looking at texts as part of a long reception history, and, simultaneously, as part of continually shifting cultural and transcultural frameworks.

Particularly as it pertains to the long reception history of the classical tradition, I believe memory studies is in many ways an untapped resource that I am in the process of exploring (cf. Astrid Erll, ‘Homer – A Relational Mnemohistory’, p.285). Memory studies, by nature of its own disciplinary focus, forces us to both look at the concrete context in which something is re-membered at the same time as the past from which the memory originates. And while memory studies highlights the ‘time-bound’ nature of the events it is investigating, the classical tradition allows for the investigation of perhaps the longest remaining longue duréein literary history. Together, they might just allow us to write ‘big’ literary history in context.


My PhD project was funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation)

In May 2017 I ran an international conference on descent narratives and memory at the University of Warwick, kindly sponsored by the HRC, the RSSP, and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Together with Prof. Rachel Falconer, I am a contributing editor for 'A Quest for Remembrance: The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature', an edited collection featuring, among others, selected contributions from the conference. The collection will be published by Routledge as part of the Warwick Series in the Humanities:
https://www.routledge.com/A-Quest-for-Remembrance-The-Underworld-in-Classical-and-Modern-Literature/Falconer-Scherer/p/book/9780367358860


Teaching

Seminars

  • In 2018 I gave a guest lecture and seminar at the Goethe University, Frankfurt, at the invitation of the Department of English and American Studies.
  • In 2015-2017 I taught on EN101 The Epic Tradition.
  • In 2016 I taught on EN302 European Theatre.


Lectures


Certificates

  • For 2019/2020 I am preparing to receive the Higher Education Teaching Accreditation (Fellow).
  • In 2015, I received the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice by the Learning and Development Centre, University of Warwick.

Publications

Edited Collections

  • 2020: Contributing Editor for The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature: A Quest for Remembrance. Eds. Madeleine Scherer and Rachel Falconer. Under contract with Routledge. Forthcoming.

Journal Articles

  • 2019: ‘“Why do you need the dark if what you do is fair?”: Staging Death, Violence, and the TRC in Yaël Farber's Molora’.South African Theatre Journal
  • 2019: ‘Resurrecting Antiquity: Memories of Medea in the Caribbean’. Memory Studies. Accepted for publication. Forthcoming
  • 2016: ‘“All these presences”: Haunting Memory in Post-Independence Irish Poetry’. The Apollonian, Volume 2, Issue 3
  • 2015: ‘Ghosts on the Water: Marina Carr's Reception of the Classical Underworld in her Midland Tragedies.’ Postgraduate English Journal, Durham University, Volume 30
  • 2015: ‘Eavan Boland's and NualaNí Dhomhnaill's silences: Gendered Writing in Ireland's Post-Independence’. degenere, Volume 1, Issue 1

Book Chapters

  • 2019: ‘“He wept for a way home”: Nostos, Nostalgia and Painful Recollection in the Odyssey’. In: Mood – Aesthetics, Psychology, Philosophy, Eds. Thomas Docherty and Birgit Breidenbach. Routledge.
  • 2019: ‘Introduction’. The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature: A Quest for Remembrance. Eds. Madeleine Scherer and Rachel Falconer. Under contract with Routledge. Forthcoming
  • 2019: ‘“all must descend to where the stories are kept”: Textual remembrance and katabasisin Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad’. The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature: A Quest for Remembrance. Eds. Madeleine Scherer and Rachel Falconer. Under contract with Routledge. Forthcoming

Public Engagement

  • 2015: ‘That shell's elaborate whorl: The Sound of the Occult in Yeats's “Crazy Jane” Poems’.The Golden Line: A Magazine on English LiteratureVolume 1, Issue 3

Publications in Preparation 

  • 2020 (estimated): A Global Schema: The Underworld in the Twentieth Century. Media and Cultural Memory. Berlin; Boston: DeGruyter. Under consideration with series editor. First draft in preparation for submission in July 2019
  • 2020 (estimated): ‘From Ancient to Modern Myth: Storytelling in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones’. Everything Old is New Again: Adapting the Classics in Contemporary Young Adult Novels. Eds. Amy Motz and Dana Lawrence. Under consideration with University of Mississippi Press

Peer Reviewing

  • Orbis Litterarum

Organisation 

2019

Classical Rhetoric in the Contemporary World, Academic Talk by the Network for the Interface of Classics and Politics (based at the University of Liverpool), University of Warwick

2019

Global Memories panel, Memory Studies Association, 2019 International Conference (co-organiser)

2018
(onwards)

Global Memories, International Working Group, part of the Memory Studies Association (co-chair)

2018

Living a Good Life in Older Age, International Conference, University of Warwick (assistant)

2017

A Quest for Remembrance: The Descent into the Classical Underworld, International Conference, University of Warwick

2015/2016

Arts Faculty Seminar Series, University of Warwick (co-organiser)

2015

11th English Postgraduate Symposium, University of Warwick (co-organiser)

Grants and Scholarships 

2018/2019

Early Career Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick

2019

Event Grant, Classical Rhetoric in the Contemporary World, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick

2016-2018

Scholarship Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes

2016

Conference Grants, A Quest for Remembrance: The Descent into the Classical Underworld, Research Students Skills Programme, Humanities Research Centre, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

2015

Conference Grant, 11th PG Symposium, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

2015

Series Grant, Arts Faculty Seminar Series, Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence (Cadre)

 Conference Papers (selection):

  • 5thJuly 2019: ‘“Straits of Memory”: Archetypes, Anabasis, and Abandonment in Wilson Harris’s Palace of the Peacock’. At Descent of the Soul: katabasis and depth psychology, International Conference, Freud Museum, London.
  • 27thJune 2019: ‘Memory Metaphors in Popular Science: Carlo Rovelli’s The Order ofTime’. At MSA 2019, International Conference, University of Madrid.
  • 1 September 2018: ‘“When would I enter that light beyond metaphor?”: The Classics and Competitive Memory Cultures in the Caribbean’. At Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures, International Conference, University of Leeds
  • 13th December 2017: ‘A Global Schema: The Reception of the Classical Underworld’. At Memory Studies Association(MSA Forward) 2017, International Conference, University of Copenhagen
  • 28th - 30th September 2017: ‘Schematic Remembrance; Or: What if remembrance becomes universal?’. At Classical Antiquity and Memory,International Conference, University of Bonn
  • 27th- 29th September 2016: ‘Remembering Apartheid: Mrs. Current and Historicism in Age of Iron’. At Reading Coetzee's Women, International Conference, Monash University, Prato
  • 22th- 23th July 2016: ‘“For Seamus Heaney”: The Establishment of Irish-Caribbean Connections Through Classical Reception’. At Irish Caribbean Connections: An Interdisciplinary Conference, International Conference, University College Cork
  • 10th- 12th June 2016: ‘“Beautiful Lofty Things”: Marina Carr's Hecubaand Ancient Greek Morality’. At Classical Reception and the Human, International Conference, University of Patras
  • 6th- 7th May 2016: ‘Odysseus's Tears: The Mood of Recollection in The Odyssey’. At Mood Aesthetic, Psychological and Philosophical Perspectives, International Conference, University of Warwick

Awards:

2013

York Award

2012

Vice-Chancellor's Award for outstanding achievement with the ‘Humanities
at Work’: ‘Prison Fiction Digital Recording Team’, University of York

Professional Memberships:

  • 2019 – present: Network for the Interface of Classics and Politics
  • 2017 – present: Memory Studies Association (MSA)
  • 2015 – present: APGRD (Archive for the Performance of Greek and Roman Drama)
  • 2014 – present: Classical Receptions Network

Madeleine Scherer

M dot M dot C dot Scherer at warwick dot ac dot uk

Early Career Fellow, University of Warwick

Supervisors:
Dr. John T. Gilmore
Dr. Elizabeth Barry

Mentor: Prof. Paulo de Medeiros


M.A., University of Durham

Supervisor: Dr. Edmund Richardson


B.A., University of York

Supervisor: Dr. Richard Rowland