School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Katie East

Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History


I am currently a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, having been a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School from 2015 to 2018. I completed my PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2013, during which I was supervised by Justin Champion and Jonathan Powell; this followed a BA in Ancient and Modern History at St Hugh's College, Oxford University, and an MLitt in Ancient History at St Andrews University.  In 2014 I took up Fellowships at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies in Innsbruck, the Research Library Gotha, and Fondation Hardt in Geneva.  My research centres on the transmission and influence of Latin texts in the early modern period, and in particular the relationship between transmission and influence in terms of how scholarly intervention shapes the later influence of these texts.


My research seeks to illuminate the intellectual history of Republican Rome, particularly in relation to the formation of early modern political and religious ideas.  To this end, I have two primary, interrelating areas of interest: the history of the transmission of Latin texts in early modern Europe, and their reception in the subversive works of early modern England, works which sought to challenge authority and tradition through the development of discourses centred around political radicalism and heterodoxy.  The impact of the processes of transmission on the text - editorial practices, textual criticism, commentary, translation, and so on - on the subsequent interpretation of that text is often underestimated in studies of the classical tradition.  The possible impact of scholarly techniques on the influence and reception of the ancient text is the subject of my first monograph - The Radicalization of Cicero: John Toland and Strategic Editing in the Early Enlightenment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), - which relates the editorial practices of the subversive intellectual John Toland to his efforts to legitimise his representation of Cicero as an exemplary radical.

I have also published articles in this area examining the use of Cicero to formulate and articulate the radical ideologies of Pantheism, anticlericalism, and Freethought in early-eighteenth-century England.  My current Leverhulme project is extending this research to examine how Cicero’s sceptical philosophy was understood and deployed by both orthodox and heterodox writers, exploring from the publication of Herbert of Cherbury’s De Veritate in London in 1645, to the publication of David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion in 1779.  The focus of this project is primarily on the use of Cicero's De Natura Deorum and De Divinatione by Enlightenment writers, and consequently the transmission of these texts is also the subject of this inquiry.  This research has also led to the development of a reading group with colleagues at Newcastle and Sunderland Universities into the idea of civil religion in the early modern period, encouraging investigation of this topic from a variety of perspectives, including how it related to its ancient forebears.


Office Hours:

Mondays 10-12, and Thursdays 11-12 in Armstrong 1.37

Module Leader 2018/2019:

HIS3342: Republicanism from Antiquity to Enlightenment

HIS2250: Scientists and Scholars: Revolutions in Knowledge, 1500-1700

HIS1029: Varieties in History

CAC1013: Life and Literature in the Roman Republic

Contributing Lecturer 2018/2019:

HIS8104: Ideas and Influences in British History

CAC8009: Texts and Performance