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Dr Katherine McDonald

Lecturer

5819

01392 725819

I am a Classicist and linguist working mainly on the languages of ancient Italy. My research interests include ancient Italy, linguistic and cultural contact in the ancient world, ancient migration, personal names, Greek and Roman comedy, and epigraphy. My work uses approaches from historical sociolinguistics to investigate multilingualism, language contact and gender linguistics. I have previously taught courses in Greek, Latin and Indo-European linguistics, Roman history, Latin language and Latin literature.

My book, Oscan in Southern Italy and Sicily (Cambridge University Press, 2015), uses frameworks from epigraphy, archaeology and the sociolinguistics of language contact to explore the relationship between Greek and Oscan, two of the most widely spoken languages in the south of Italy. 

My current research deals with language contact across ancient Italy, taking a comparative approach to language use in areas such as Campania, Lucania, the Veneto and the city of Rome. I am using sources in a wide range of languages - including Latin, Greek, Oscan, Venetic, Etruscan and Messapic - alongside material culture and archaeology to build a more nuanced picture of how languages and communities interacted.

I am a founding member of the Women's Classical Committee UK, and I am currently one of the committee liaisons for Early Career Researchers. 

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

You can find out more about my research and publications, and read my blog on my website.

 

Research interests

My research interests include ancient Italy, linguistic and cultural contact in the ancient world, ancient migration, personal names, Greek and Roman comedy, and epigraphy. My work uses approaches from historical sociolinguistics to investigate multilingualism, language contact and gender linguistics. I'm particularly interested in exploring different approaches to fragmentary sources and lesser-known ancient languages.

My current research project, Language Contact in Ancient Italy, a comparative approach to language use in areas such as Campania, Lucania, the Veneto and the city of Rome. I am using sources in a wide range of languages - including Latin, Greek, Oscan, Venetic, Etruscan and Messapic - alongside material culture and archaeology to build a more nuanced picture of how languages and communities interacted.

You can find out more about my current research on my website and blog.

Biography

I am originally from Chelmsford in Essex. I studied Classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge (BA 2009), and  I continued at the University of Cambridge for my MPhil (2010) and PhD (2013), specialising in ancient linguistics. During 2012, I was also an Erasmus PhD Researcher at Ca' Foscari, Venezia.

In 2013, I joined Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, as a Research Fellow. During my fellowship, I also worked as an Affiliated Researcher on the AHRC-funded Greek in Italy project, and received a Rome Award at the British School at Rome for my new project on language contact in ancient Italy.

My interests include film and theatre, and I have been involved with three of the Cambridge Greek Plays: twice as a member of the chorus (Agamemnon 2010; Prometheus/Frogs 2013) and once as a producer (Antigone/Lysistrata 2016). 

I came to the University of Exeter as a Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History in September 2016.