Elizabeth Minchin

Elizabeth Minchin’s principal research focus is on the Homeric epics as poems composed in an oral tradition; her approaches to the epics are largely from cognitive and linguistic perspectives. Her publications arising from this research were amongst the first to introduce cognitive theory into Classics. She is interested in the composition of the Homeric epics; in Homer and memory (both his own memory and his reflections on the workings of memory in the characters he describes); in the poet’s narrative practices; in the speech he attributes to his characters; the poet’s evocation of landscapes; and the reception of the Homeric epics through time (for example, in Alice Oswald’s reinvention of the Iliad in her poem Memorial). Elizabeth’s research interests include work on landscape and memory more generally and reception studies and the longer history of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which draws on her interest in the relationship between the Classics and later periods and societies, including contemporary Australian society.

Selected works

Homer and the Resources of Memory: Some Applications of Cognitive Theory to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Oxford University Press, 2001. 247pp.

‘Verbal Behaviour in its social context: three question strategies in Homer’s Odyssey“. Classical Quarterly 52 (2002) 1-18.

 ‘”Themes” and “mental moulds”: Roger Schank, Malcolm Willcock, and the creation of character in Homer’, Classical Quarterly 61.2 (2011) 323-343.

 ‘Memory and memories: personal, social, and cultural memory in the poems of Homer’. In A. Rengakos and C. Tsagalis (eds), Homeric Contexts: Neoanalysis and Oral Theory. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter (2012) 83-99.

‘Commemoration and pilgrimage in the ancient world: Troy and the stratigraphy of cultural memory’, Greece and Rome 59 (2012) 76-89.

 “‘Translation’ and Transformation: Alice Oswald’s Excavation of the Iliad“, Classical Receptions Journal 7 (2015) 202-222.

‘Heritage in the landscape: the ‘heroic tumuli’ in the Troad region. In J. McInerney and I. Sluiter, eds, Valuing Landscape in Classical Antiquity: Natural Environment and Cultural Imagination, Leiden: Brill (2016), 255-275.

‘Remembering Leander: the long history of the Dardanelles swim’. Classical Receptions Journal 8.2 (2016), 276-293.

‘Mapping the Hellespont with Leander and Hero: “the swimming lover and the nightly bride”’. In G. Hawes, ed., Myths on the Map: The Storied Landscapes of Ancient Greece (Oxford University Press, 2017), 65-82.