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Madeleine Scherer

Ph.D., University of Warwick
M.A., Department of Classics, Durham University (Distinction)
B.A., Department of English and Related Literature, University of York

My dissertation, "A Global Schema: The Graeco-Roman Underworld in Ireland and the Caribbean" seeks to use the vocabulary and methodology of memory studies to re-conceptualise the ways in which classical receptionists have understood postcolonial uses of the classics. Thereby, I aim to overcome impulses of over-categorization and colonialist dichotomies in favour of an increased focus on the status of the classics within cultural memory and the reasons for their continuous adaptation. The thesis proposes that the classics have taken on the role of Astrid Erll's travelling schemata, whereby connotations of specific ancient images, characters, and narratives have been assimilated into a transcultural mnemonic imagination and are then adapted into a variety of different cultures and contexts. Specifically, my thesis focusses on the example of the underworld in order to compare how in different cultures, this schema has been used to question dominant modes of historicism and memorialisation. More specifically, my dissertation focusses on its reception in Irish and Caribbean literature, comparing how the ancient trope of Hades is used by postcolonial writers as a way to interrogate mnemonic reconstructions of the past, and can thereby assist with reconceptualising dominant forms of (re-)writing the past. Generally speaking, through this project I hope to show how much both the concerns and methods of classical reception, memory studies and postcolonial literature overlap.

Primary Texts:
Classical: Homer The Odyssey, Virgil The Aeneid VI, Plato Republic
Caribbean: Derek Walcott Omeros and The Odyssey: A Stage Version, selected works by Wilson Harris
Irish: Marina Carr "Midland Tragedy", including The Mai, Portia Coughlain, and By the Bog of Cats, selected poems by Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley


My project is 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. An co-edited collection featuring selected contributions from the conference will be published as part of the Warwick Series in the Humanities in 2019. The conference website can be found here: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/research/conferences/questforremembrance/

Teaching

Seminars
From 2015-2017 I'm teaching two seminar groups on EN101 The Epic Tradition. My office hour is Thursdays 3-4pm in H544.
In 2016 I'm teaching four guest-seminars in EN302 European Theatre, on The Oresteia, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and The Bacchae respectively.

Lectures
In 2016 I am giving a lecture for EN302 European Theatre on The Oresteia.
In 2017 I am giving three lectures for EN101 The Epic Tradition on Walcott's Omeros.


Publications:

2018/2019: The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature: A Quest for Remembrance. Eds. Madeleine Scherer and Rachel Falconer. The Warwick Series in the Humanities, Routledge.

2018/2019: “‘all must descend to where the stories are kept’: Textual remembrance and katabasis in Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad”. The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature: A Quest for Remembrance. Eds. Madeleine Scherer and Rachel Falconer. The Warwick Series in the Humanities, Routledge. Forthcoming

2018: “'He wept for a way home': Nostos, Nostalgia and Painful Recollection in the Odyssey”. In: Mood – Aesthetics, Psychology, Philosophy. Eds. Birgit Breidenbach and Thomas Docherty. The Warwick Series in the Humanities, Routledge. 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.” 30th edition of the Postgraduate English Journal, Durham University

2015: “That shell's elaborate whorl: The Sound of the Occult in Yeats's “Crazy Jane” Poems”. The Golden Line: A Magazine on English Literature Volume 1, Number 2.

2015: “Eavan Boland's and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill's silences: Gendered Writing in Ireland's Post-Independence”. degenere, Volume 1, Issue 1

Conference Papers (selection):


13th December 2017: “A Global Schema: The Reception of the Classical Underworld”. At the MSA 2017, University of Copenhagen.

27th- 29th September 2016: "Remembering Apartheid: Mrs. Current and Historicism in Age of Iron". At "Reading Coetzee's Women" International Conference at Monash University.

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 at the University College Cork.

10th- 12th June 2016: "'Beautiful Lofty Things': Marina Carr's Hecuba and Ancient Greek Morality". At "Classical Reception and the Human" International Conference at the University of Patras.

3rd June 2016: "Revisions of History: Wilson Harris and the Creation of a Spacial Temporality". At Oxford English Graduate Conference: Progress, University of Oxford.

31st May 2016: "'Beautiful Lofty Things': Marina Carr's Hecuba and Ancient Greek Morality". At 12th PG English and Comparative Literature Symposium, University of Warwick.

19th- 20th May 2016: "Classical Reception and Spaces of Mourning in Postcolonial Ireland". At "The Materiality of Mourning" Workshop, University of Warwick.

6th- 7th May 2016: "Odysseus's Tears: The Mood of Recollection in The Odyssey". At "Mood - Aesthetic, Psychological and Philosophical Perspectives" International Conference at the University of Warwick.

29th-30th June 2015: “The Visuality of Violence: 'Why do you need the Dark if what you do is fair?' At. “15th Annual Joint Postgraduate Symposium on Ancient Drama”, UCL and Oxford University.

3rd June 2015: “'The Train goes on forever': Derek Walcott's reception of the classical underworld in The Odyssey: A Stage Version”, Postgraduate Caribbean Studies Conference, University of Warwick.


Organisation:


2017: Organiser of the “A Quest for Remembrance: The Descent into the Classical Underworld” Conference, University of Warwick.

2015/2016: Part of the Organising Committee for the Arts Faculty Seminar Series, University of Warwick

2015: Part of the Organising Committee for the 11th PG Symposium of the Warwick English Department


Awards:


2013: York Award

2012: Vice-Chancellor's Award for outstanding achievement with the ‘Humanities at Work’: ‘Prison Fiction Digital Recording Team’

Funding (selection):


2016-2018: Full scholarship - Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation)

2016: Travel Grant for International Conference Presentation from the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

2016: Travel bursary for the attendance of the 16th Annual Joint Postgraduate Symposium on Ancient Drama from Oxford University

2016: Conference funding for “A Quest for Remembrance: The Descent into the Classical Underworld” from the RSSP, University of Warwick

2016: Conference funding for “A Quest for Remembrance: The Descent into the Classical Underworld” from the HRC, University of Warwick

2016: Conference funding for “A Quest for Remembrance: The Descent into the Classical Underworld” from the Department of English and Comprative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

2015/2016: Funding for Arts Faculty Seminar Series from the HRC, University of Warwick

2015/2016: Funding for the Arts Faculty Seminar Series from CADRE, University of Warwick

2015: Conference Funding for the 11th PG Symposium from the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

Memberships:

2017- present: Memory Studies Association

2014-present: Classical Receptions Network

2015- present: APGRD

Madeleine Scherer

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

Third-year Ph.D., 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