Cat Lambert

Postdoctoral Associate


Dr. Cat Lambert works widely on Latin and Greek literature through the lenses of book history, gender, queer studies, and the intersections between these critical approaches. Much of her research asks how materiality shapes and informs the metaphors, meanings, and politics of texts. For example, in her article "The Ancient Entomological Bookworm" (Arethusa 2020), she follows the vermiculate path of the worm as it munches through the papyrus roll and creeps into poetic discourse, arguing that the material circumstances of the bookworm illuminate how this zoologically-low creature becomes mobilized in Greek and Latin poetry as a metaphor for skewering socially abject, pedantic readers.

Dr. Lambert is currently at work on her 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. Blending book history with feminist, queer, and critical theory, this project argues that "bad readers" are not "bad" in any inherent or universal sense, but rather that they are fashioned as marked bodies that intersect with particular literary, cultural, and ideological agendas. A broader goal of this project is to mobilize a critique of how the discipline of Classics reproduces the dynamics of power located in this ancient discourse, such as a fantasy of "mastery."

Other ongoing projects of Dr. Lambert's include work on the intersection between enslavement and gender in Roman literary culture, and forgery as a queer literary and bibliographical practice.

Dr. Lambert has taught Classics in a variety of contexts, including a one-year stint at Eton College, where she also coached boys' rugby. She is the co-founder of Teaching Citational Practice: Critical Feminist Approaches, an open-access educational resource for instructors who are interested in practical, innovative, and progressive strategies for teaching research and citation. Her research and teaching have been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative, and the POD Network Center for Innovative Pedagogy.


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