Professor Matthew Wright
Professor of Greek
OFFICE HOURS (2018-19, term 2): Tuesdays 8.45-9.30 a.m., 2.15-3.30 p.m.
I am a classical scholar, literary critic and teacher with wide interests in ancient and modern literature. I have been a member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter since leaving Oxford in 1999, and I have taught many different courses in Greek and Latin language and literature. During 2018-19 my modules include Ancient Literary Criticism, 'Fast-Track' Greek I & II and Translation and Criticism, as well as the Ancient Drama and Research Methodology modules for MA students; I am also Admissions Tutor.
My special research interests lie in Greek and Roman drama, ancient literary criticism, fragmentary and lost works, and 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). I recently organized an international conference on this last topic - Classical Literature and Quotation Culture - and am currently editing a volume of papers based on the conference, while also working on a new book about fourth-century Greek comedy.
I am also one of the academic team behind Exeter's new Liberal Arts degree programme, and I teach on one of its core modules (The Art of Reading and Writing). For a year I taught at Vassar College, NY, an experience which opened my eyes to the intellectual and personal values associated with a liberal arts education.
For some years my main research project was the completion of a major two-volume work, The Lost Plays of Greek Tragedy. Volume 1 (Neglected Authors) was published by Bloomsbury in 2016, and Volume 2 (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides) appeared at the end of 2018. If you want to learn more about this project without buying the books, you can hear me discussing my work on a recent episode of the Mirror of Antiquity podcast: click here to listen.
Other recent publications include Selfhood and The Soul (an edited collection in honour of my colleague Chris Gill) and a new translation of Euripides' Ion, Helen and Orestes by Diane Arnson Svarlien, to which I contributed the introduction and notes. I am also the author of The Comedian as Critic (2012), Euripides: Orestes (2008), Euripides' Escape-Tragedies (2005), and numerous articles and reviews.
I am an active member of the Classical Association at local and national levels (I am Secretary of the South-West branch) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At various times I have 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 a member of the editorial team of Omnibus.
Greek and Roman comedy and tragedy
Fragmentary and lost literature
Ancient literary criticism