Photo of Professor Matthew Wright

Professor Matthew Wright

Associate Professor


Extension: 4206

Telephone: 01392 724206

Matthew Wright has been a member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter since leaving Oxford in 1999.

During 2013-14 he will be teaching various subjects including Greek and Roman Drama, Early Greek Poetry, Greek V, Ancient Comedy, some options in the MA Methodology module, and part of the new interdisciplinary Liberal Arts programme. His office hours (term 2) are TUESDAYS and WEDNESDAYS 11.30-12.30.

His particular teaching and research interests lie in Greek and Roman drama, ancient literary criticism, and the study of fragments. All of these interests are brought together in his latest project, which centres on the idea of 'quotation culture' in the ancient world - that is, the ways in which literature was quoted, deployed, or manipulated in a variety of different contexts. He co-organized the conferences 'Irony and the Ironic in Ancient Literature' (2009) and 'On the Psyche: Studies in Literature, Psychology and Health' (2013), and is planning a further conference on 'Quotation Culture in the Ancient World' (to take place in 2014).

Matthew's most recent book, The Comedian as Critic, is a major new study of the relationship between comedy and poetic theory in the fifth century BC, incorporating discussion of many fragments of lost plays by Platon, Hermippus, Cratinus, Eupolis, Metagenes and others. His other publications include numerous articles and reviews, as well as the books Euripides' Escape-Tragedies ('Voici un ouvrage très stimulant pour l'esprit... La satisfaction intellectuelle est entière' - Revue des études grecques) and Euripides: Orestes ('Wright's fine introductory treatment highlights the richness, complexity and entertainment value of the play in a way that should benefit both the book's primary intended audiences - students and theatre practitioners - and more advanced scholars... it deserves a place in the library of nearly every institution in which Classics and/or classical theater are taught' - Classical Journal).

He is an active member of the Classical Association (at local and national levels), a member of the editorial board of Omnibus, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At various times he has also been one of the editors of JHS, a committee member of the Council for UK Classics Departments (CUCD), a Council Member of the Hellenic Society, and Blegen Research Fellow at Vassar College, NY. In 2014 he will be Ritchie Fellow in Classics at the University of Sydney.

Outside the world of Classics, Matthew is also a musician. He performs widely as a pianist, organist, singer and accompanist. Recent and forthcoming appearances include concerts with the Exeter Bach Society, Exeter Singers and Devon Brass, piano solo and duet recitals in Crediton and Bridport, a Schubertiad in Topsham, and an appearance in the Exeter Autumn Festival. He would like to be more like Glenn Gould (in a good way).


Select recent publications:

'Comedy versus tragedy in Wasps', in E. Bakola et al. (ed.), Greek Comedy and the Discourse of Genres (Cambridge, 2013), 205-25.

'The reception of Sophocles in antiquity', in A. Markantonatos (ed.), Brill's Companion to Sophocles (Leiden, 2012), 581-99.

The Comedian as Critic: Greek Old Comedy and Poetics (London, 2012).

'The tragedian as critic: Euripides and early Greek poetics', Journal of Hellenic Studies 130 (2010), 165-84.

'Literary prizes and literary criticism in antiquity', Classical Antiquity 28 (2009), 138-77.

'Enter a Phrygian (Euripides, Orestes 1369)', Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 48 (2008), 5-13.

'Comedy and the Trojan War', Classical Quarterly 57 (2007), 412-31.