- Associate Professor
- Barnard College
The invention of domesticity: gender, politics, and private life in the early Roman Empire
Poetic Practices in Roman Pompeii: The Literary Graffiti and their Contexts
This study concerns the fragments of textual graffiti which survive on the walls of the Roman city of Pompeii. In particular, it focuses on those writings which either quote canonical authors directly, or show the influence—in diction, style, or structure—of elite Latin literature. While previous scholarship has described these fragments as popular distortions of well-known texts, this study argues that they are important cultural products in their own right, since they are able to give us insight into how ordinary Romans responded to and sometimes rewrote works of canonical literature. Additionally, since graffiti are at once textual and material artifacts, they give us the opportunity to see how such writings gave meaning to, and were given meaning by, the ancient urban environment.