Cat Lambert

Assistant Professor

Overview

I work widely on Latin and Greek literature through the lenses of book history, gender and sexuality studies, queer studies, and the intersections between these critical approaches. 

My published and forthcoming work addresses a range of topics, including: the ancient entomological bookworm (how the zoologically-low worm munches through the papyrus scroll and becomes activated by Greek poets as a metaphor for skewering pedantic readers); the relationship between improper book use, bibliomania, and queer bodies in Lucian's satire, "Against the Ignorant Book Collector"; Sappho, lesbians, and literary fakes in the late 19th century; and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's use of the modern Greek-language poet C. P. Cavafy in one of her remarkable artist's books, The Last Days of Pompeii

I am currently at work on my first book, Bad Readers and Ancient Rome, which traces the cultural category of the "bad reader" across a generically diverse range of Greek and Latin texts from the first to second centuries CE. This project argues that "bad readers" are not "bad" in any self-evident or universal sense, but rather that they are fashioned as marked bodies that participate in performative discourses of gender, social status, and cultural identity. A broader goal of the project is to consider how our own disciplinary practices as readers might reproduce the gendered and classed dynamics that underpin the ancient discourse on the "bad reader," and how the "bad reader" might throw a wrench in this feedback loop, inviting us to stray from well-trodden hermeneutic paths and perform other modes of reading. 

I have taught Classics in a variety of contexts, including a one-year gig at Eton College, where I also coached boys' rugby. My research and teaching have been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at the University of Virginia's Rare Book School, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative, and the POD Network Center for Innovative Pedagogy.

Publications

  • "The Ancient Entomological Bookworm" (2020). Arethusa 53.1: 1-24.

CLASS Courses - Fall 2023

CLASS Courses - Spring 2024

GREEK Courses - Spring 2024

Top