School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Elizabeth Cooper

Elizabeth Cooper

Self-mutilation in the Ancient World: Medicine, Culture and Society

Project outline

‌This project explores the phenomenon of self-mutilation in antiquity, by investigating a series of ‘case studies’ from a variety of textual sources (genres including, but not limited to, tragedy, historiography and philosophical writings) and some iconographical and epigraphic evidence, to ascertain how aspects such as aetiology, method, context and reception can provide an insight into whether or not the ancients conceptualised it. This will be achieved via an interdisciplinary approach, using literary criticism, iconology, intertextuality and reception theory, as well as examining relevant theories and practices from the time, particularly medical, philosophical and religious.

The project is supervised by Dr Thomas Rütten and Dr David Creese and funded by the Research Excellence Academy.

Elizabeth Cooper

Funding awards

• Research Excellence Academy Studentship (Newcastle University)
• Trevor Saunders Prize for Outstanding Performance in Greek (Newcastle University, 2012)

Conference papers

  • “Phaedra’s Physician: Medical Questions and Answers in Euripides’ Hippolytus”, delivered at: “Where does it hurt?” Ancient Medicine in Questions and Answers (KU Leuven, 2016)
  • “Sending Out a Message: Zaleucus of Locri and the Punishment of Blinding In and Beyond Antiquity”, delivered at: Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History: “Messages and Media” (Newcastle University, 2016)

Other roles

• Seminar Co-ordinator of Postgraduate Forum (Newcastle University, 2016-17)
• Tutor at JACT Latin & Greek Summer School (St John’s College, Durham, 2016)
• Session Leader at “Mind the Gap” Annual Conference (Newcastle University, 2016)

Academic qualifications

• BA with First Class Honours in Classics (Newcastle University, 2011-14)
• MA with Merit in Classics (University College London, 2014-5)