Fields of interest
As a classicist as well as an anglicist, I am interested in the Nachleben of Ancient Greek and Latin texts in modern and contemporary English literature. I focus on intertextuality in texts which combine allegory and metaliterature.
I am working on the following texts from contemporary English literature: Seamus Heaney’s collection of lyric poetry Station Island, Gloria Naylor’s novel Linden Hills, Eavan Boland’s poem ‘The Journey’ in her collection The Journey and Other Poems and Derek Walcott’s epic Omeros. Each of these texts consists of or contains a katabasis/descent into the underworld or a dream-vision in which a writer is confronted with dead writers and the afterlife. The motif of katabasis and dream-vision is derived from classical and medieval literature, most importantly from the Odyssey, from Virgil's Aeneid and from Dante's The Divine Comedy. The long history of the motif vouches for a rich intertextuality. In the Nachleben of classical literature, the motif has been in use as a meta-literary allegory, in which a writer’s emotional and/or poetical development is portrayed as a visit to the history of western literature in the underworld.
In contemporary literature this motif is often used by writers from cultural minorities in order to come to terms with the dominance of western literature. As members of cultural minorities, whether female and/or Afro-American, Irish or Caribbean, the writers of the selected texts are all dealing with the integration of the former colonist/oppressor’s literature and their native identity. This process takes place within the allegorical landscape of the afterlife, which is the reflection of the to some extent subconscious mind of the visiting character-writer. The fact that the four selected texts represent a number of different literary genres, warrants an investigation across different genres as well as different cultures.
In my research I analyse the allegorical aspects of the four selected texts from the theoretical angles of Conceptual Metaphor Theory and narratology. For the metaliterary aspects, I use narratological theories on metafiction, metanarration and metapoetry.
As an external PhD-student, I am employed outside of the university. I work as an English teacher in secondary education and also as a freelance teacher of Ancient Greek and Latin to adults.
From 1988 until 1994, I studied Classics at Leiden University. During that period, I spent two terms at Exeter University, UK, in order to specialize in Ancient Greek tragedy. After my graduation, I started to work as a schoolteacher. In 1997, I obtained a degree in education from Leiden University. In 2001, I was offered the possibility to develop courses in Latin and Ancient Greek to adults by the Stedelijk Gymnasium Leiden. I have been teaching Classics to adults ever since, as you can see on my website: www.anthosindeoudheid.nl. My interest in living languages and pedagogy, however, inspired to start working as a teacher of English in secondary education, for which purpose I obtained a CELTA degree in 2007. A grant from the Dutch government, the so-called ‘lerarenbeurs’, furthermore enabled me to return to Leiden University and study English literature. I obtained my MA in 2013 as well as the diploma for the educational master. Since then, I have been working on my PhD-project on top of my teaching activities. Recently, I have received an NWO-grant for teachers working on a PhD, called the ‘promotiebeurs voor leraren’, which will temporarily reduce my teaching hours.
Feuth, Amaranth. “Changing the allegorical landscape: Masonic and Hermetic additions to the Dantean underworld of Gloria Naylor’s Linden Hills.” Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference, issue 6, February 2018, pp.10-28 (forthcoming).