Our Faculty

Amber Carpenter (Philosophy)

Research Areas
Assoc Prof Carpenter’s research interests are predominantly concerned with how metaphysical or epistemological pictures imply or preclude ethical orientations, how metaphysical or epistemological debates arise from, or act as proxies for ethical disputes, and how practices of adopting or investigating metaphysical pictures or epistemological practices have an effect on the person so thinking.

As part of the study of ‘Ethical Ambitions and their Formation of Character’, Assoc Prof Carpenter is currently writing on:
– ‘Impersonal Attention as a Means of Self-Dissolution and Reformation in Buddhaghosa’
– ‘Reason and Knowledge on the Path: A Protreptic Approach to the Bodhicaryāvatāra’
– ‘Ideals and Ethical Formation: A Platonist-Buddhist Manifesto’,
– ‘Narratives of the Morally Outstanding’

Inquiries into Metaphysics and Epistemology as Ethics currently include:
– ‘The Ethics of Atomism’
– ‘Ethics of Substance’
– ‘Process Ontology and the Ethics of Individuation’
– ‘Ethics Without Justice’
– ‘… ‘and none of us deserving the cruelty or the grace’ – Buddhism and the Problem of Evil’

Assoc Prof Carpenter also collaborates with Rachael Wiseman on the Integrity Project (www.integrityproject.org).
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Teaching Subjects

Philosophy & Political Thought I
Philosophy & Political Thought II
Indian Buddhist Philosophy
Plato on Knowing and Being Good

Scott Cook (History)

Research Areas
Prof Cook specialises in pre-imperial textual studies and early Chinese intellectual history, with emphases in recently excavated bamboo manuscripts and musical thought. He is the author of The Bamboo Texts of Guodian: A Study and Complete Translation, Vols. I and II (Cornell East Asia Series 2012); Guodian Chujian Xian-Qin Rushu Hongweiguan《郭店楚簡先秦儒書宏微觀》(The Pre-Imperial Confucian Texts of Guodian: Broad and Focused Perspectives) (Taiwan Xuesheng shuju 2006); and editor of Hiding the World in the World: Uneven Discourses on the Zhuangzi (State University of New York Press 2003). He has published numerous articles in both English and Chinese, most recently in Bulletin of the Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University; National Taiwan University Philosophical Review; Journal of Chinese Philosophy; Guwenzi yanjiu (Paleographic Studies); and The Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Culture.
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Teaching Subjects

Chinese Philosophical Tradition
Chinese Literary Tradition
Chinese Poetry
Classical Chinese
Beginning Chinese
Advanced Chinese
Argumentation in the Ancient World
Music, Society, and the Cosmos
Drinking in the Ancient World

Gavin Flood (Religion)

Research Areas
Much of Prof Flood’s research has been on Hindu traditions, particularly medieval tantric traditions and their texts, but more recent work has widened to questions of comparative religion and the explanation of religion. His research falls into three broad areas. Firstly, he addresses the question of how we account for the persistence of religion in the global context. This involves an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the harder sciences of evolutionary biology and social cognition as well as hermeneutics and phenomenology. Secondly he addresses the issue of comparison in religion through concrete historical studies (such as of the categories ‘inwardness’ and ‘life’). Thirdly he conducts philological study of Sanskrit texts, specifically an edition from two manuscripts of the Netra Tantra. Prof Flood regards these projects as united by a vision of comparative religion that links deep philological reading to broader philosophical concerns.
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Teaching Subjects

The Self in Comparative Perspective
World Religious Poetry
Philosophy and Political Thought

Steven Green (Literature; Advisor for Global Antiquity)

Research Areas
Assoc Prof Green specialises in Roman literature and culture in the 1st centuries BC and AD, with particular attention to the principates of Augustus and Nero. His major publications have so far focused around the love poet Ovid, the astrological poet Manilius, the hunting poet Grattius, Roman didactic poetry, the interaction between Roman literature and religious experience, and the reception of the classical world in 21st century Hollywood film. His latest work is a text, translation and collection of essays on Grattius (Grattius: Hunting an Augustan Poet, OUP 2018). He continues to work on neglected Roman literature in the form of the Ilias Latina, a first century AD Latin rendition of the Iliad, on which he intends to write a translation and commentary. Assoc Prof Green’s research has been recognised by a Joseph and Hannah Lees Fellowship (Manchester), a Margo Tytus Fellowship (Cincinnati), and the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme.
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Teaching Subjects

Literature and Humanities 1
Latin (all levels: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)
Ovid the Innovator

Andrew Hui (Literature)

Research Areas
Assoc Prof Hui’s work is concerned with the classical tradition in European Renaissance culture. He is interested in how humanist authors absorbed and adapted the archive of antiquity in their literary works. His methodology is a deeply philological and transnational one—he has published across Latin, Italian, French, and English epic, drama, poetry and poetics. Some of the questions that guide his inquiry are: how are ideas transmitted across vast expanses of geography and chronology? What survives and what is lost in the afterlife of antiquity? How do poetic topoi, visual images, and theological symbols express the history of ideas?
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Teaching Subjects

Literature and Humanities I & II
Dante and the European Middle Ages
Shakespeare and the Shape of Life
The Classical Tradition
World Religious Poetry, with Gavin Flood

Malcolm Keating (Philosophy)

Research Areas
Asst Prof Keating’s research is centred on Indian philosophy, in particular Mīmāṃsā and other orthoprax Indian traditions. His focus is on the philosophy of language and related topics such as epistemology and logic. He is concerned with how hearers interpret non-literal speech acts, the epistemic status of testimony, and the relationship between inferential and interpretive principles. His work seeks to cross cultural and disciplinary boundaries, drawing on both Sanskrit and Anglophone philosophy, and engaging with philosophical, aesthetic, and grammatical traditions in India.
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Teaching Subjects

Philosophy and Political Thought
Classical Indian Philosophy of Language
Analogical Reasoning and Metaphor
Doing Things with Words

Ernst Emanuel Mayer (History)

Research Areas
Assoc Prof Mayer’s research is driven by questions of how material evidence can reveal patterns of social, economic and cultural history, and enrich, complement, and contextualise evidence from ancient literature and epigraphy. His scholarly focus is on urban life and visual culture, but he also works on the archaeology of the ancient economy and the role of trade and technology in the Roman Empire. Assoc Prof Mayer is currently writing a book that explores the social and cultural consequences of long distance trade between the Mediterranean and India. In addition, he is working on the use of machine learning in the analysis of ancient coins, and network analysis in regards to Roman trade.
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Teaching Subjects

Literature & Humanities 1
Roman Urban Life and Visual Culture
Pompeii: Art, Urban Life & Culture in the Roman Empire

Suresh Muthukumaran (Post-doctoral Fellow, History)

Research Areas
Dr Muthukumaran specialises in the history of connectivity in ancient Eurasia, with a particular focus on its biological aspect i.e. the anthropogenic spread of flora, fauna, pests, commensals and microbial pathogenic organisms. He is currently working on transforming his PhD thesis, which explores the spread of tropical Asian crops to the Middle East and the Mediterranean in antiquity, into a book manuscript.
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Teaching Subjects

Literature and Humanities I

Mira Seo (Literature)

Research Areas
Roman poetry of the imperial period, especially Ovid, Seneca, Statius, and Martial
Comparative Classics and reception
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Teaching Subjects

Literature and Humanities I (Common Curriculum)
Introduction to Roman Literary Cultures
Food and Ethics in Roman Literature and Culture
Epic and Gangster Film
Love in Antiquity: Eros in Translation

Heidi Stalla (Literature)

Research Areas
Dr Stalla explores the way that writers challenge the boundaries of fiction and nonfiction in their work. Dr Stalla is particularly interested in the work of Virginia Woolf and has written about the degree to which Woolf’s craft was not only informed by a lifelong interest in historical genres, but also alludes to the appropriation of material and literary culture from Greece, India, and Egypt as a form of sociopolitical critique. Dr Stalla is currently working on an essay collection that is related to this work. The book, which itself is an experiment in form, draws on writing by early twentieth century writers and travellers in order to compare and contrast evolving symbolic expressions of national identity in today’s former territories of the British Empire—often against a backdrop of cosmopolitan rhetoric coming from the west.
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Teaching Subjects

Literature and Humanities II
Introduction to Creative Nonfiction
Advanced Creative Nonfiction
Travel Writing
The Craft of Virginia Woolf

Christina Tarnopolsky (Political Theory)

Research Areas
Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky’s current research examines Plato’s engagement with the Athenian genres of satyr-play, tragedy, history, comedy and medicine. She is also working on a manuscript that examines the relationship between Plato’s aesthetic theories and his psychological theories. Finally, Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky is working on an article comparing Plato’s theories of exemplarity and musical education with those of Kongzi and Xunzi.
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Teaching Subjects

Philosophy and Political Thought 2
Modern Social Thought
Political Theory Elective

Bryan van Norden (Philosophy)

Research Areas
Chinese philosophy
Ethics
Meta-philosophy
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Teaching Subjects

Philosophy and Political Thought
Neo-Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism

Matthew Walker (Philosophy)

Research Areas
Assoc Prof Walker specialises in ancient Greek philosophy and ethical theory, especially Aristotle and comparative ethics. His book, Aristotle on the Uses of Contemplation (Cambridge University Press), examines Aristotle’s views on the happiness of contemplation against the background of Aristotle’s natural philosophy. He has also published papers concerning the nature and value of the philosophical life in Plato, the Stoics, and Hume; early (and neo-)Confucian accounts of human flourishing and virtuous agency; theories of punishment and political rule in Confucius and Aristotle; and ancient Greek conceptions of love and friendship.
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Teaching Subjects

Philosophy and Political Thought I/ II
Love and Friendship
Philosophy of Law
Socrates and Plato
Aristotle’s Ethics
Plato on Love and Friendship
Pyrrhonian Skepticism
Ancient Chinese Ethics
History of Ancient Greek Philosophy (from the pre-Socratics to the Stoics)
History of Western Ethics (from Plato to Nietzsche)