Hamish Williams holds a PhD in Ancient Greek Literature from the University of Cape Town (2017). Currently, he is teaching at the BA International Studies programme at Leiden. From 2019, he will be pursuing a Humboldt Fellowship at the Department of English and American Studies at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. His research interests in literature and culture range across various periods and genres and include epic poetry, comparative mythology, reception studies, popular fiction, and speculative fiction. Thematically, his work examines topics such as hospitality, space, humour, libertarianism, local myths, and heroism.
Hamish is interested in ‘other’ worlds in text and culture—universes which might variously be termed fantastic, supernatural, imaginary, mythic, or isolationist: from the imagined Mediterranean which Odysseus wanders through in Homer’s Odyssey to Tolkien’s modern mythology in Middle-earth and other worlds in-between. His studies of these worlds draw on methods of connotative, intertextual, and contextual analysis and on cultural topics such as topography, hospitality, humour, libertarianism, race, and heroism so as to elucidate cultural meaning in the fantastical.
2013-2017. PhD in Classical Studies (University of Cape Town)
2010-2011. MA in Classical Studies (University of Cape Town)
2009. BA Honours in Classical Studies (University of Cape Town)
2006-2008. General BA in Classical Studies & English Literature (University of Cape Town)
2018. “Hercules the Grocer?”: Low-Key Humour in The Twelve Tasks of Asterix. Article accepted to Humor
2018. Acts of Eating in the Apologue: Destruction and Delay. Article accepted to Hermes
2018. Mountains in the Apologue: Figures of Isolation in Society, Space, and Time. Scripta Classica Israelica 37: 69-91
2018. Mountain People in Middle-earth: Ecology and the Primitive. In World-building in and around the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, T. Honegger and D. Fimi (eds.). Cormarë Series. Zollikofen: Walking Tree Publishers. 363-389 [in press]
2017. “Home is Behind, the World Ahead”: Reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a Story of Xenia or Homeric Hospitality. In Rewriting the Ancient World: Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians in Modern Popular Fiction, L. Maurice (ed.). Leiden: Brill. 174-197
- Academic editing and proofreading