Thomas Kluitenburg is a PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.
Fields of interests
- Greek & Roman drama
- Hellenistic literature
- Ancient history
- Reception of antiquity
- Aesthetic experience
Thomas Kluitenburg has studied Classics and Ancient History at Leiden University. Since 2022 he is a PhD candidate, working on the ‘Experiencing Fragments’ Project (funded by NWO Open Competition-SSH) under the supervision of Prof. dr. Antje Wessels, dr. Matthew Payne, and PD dr. Christian Orth. This project aims to assess how the digital humanities can assist us in identifying and managing biases about fragmentary texts.
My doctoral dissertation examines the history of scholarship on Roman Republican tragedy, in particular with regards to the fragments of the Pelopid-dramas. In my research, I focus on a fundamental aspect of the scholarly agenda underlying the re-construction of these fragmentary plays: the ‘philhellenic’ bias. Both ancient and modern scholars have adapted the content, style and metre of the Latin fragments in order to fit their expected Greek ‘models’, thereby disregarding their specific ‘Romanness’. In an attempt to explore avenues to account for the ‘philhellenic’ bias, I aim to identify how the persistence of such a scholarly preconception in ancient and modern editions has caused us to overlook several characteristics of Roman Republican drama, such as its engagement with Plautine comedy and other Italic performance traditions. How does Roman Republican drama ‘anchor’ itself in the Greek and Italic dramatic tradition? More importantly, how do we weigh these ‘anchors’ when our own preconceptions about them don’t meet our scholarly expectations?
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