Dr Katie East
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
BackgroundI am currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow with the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University, after completing my PhD at Royal Holloway 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.
Monday 2-4 pm Armstrong 1.38
Tuesday 1.30-2.30 pm Armstrong 1.38
Module Leader 2016/2017 and 2017/2018:
CAC1013: Life and Literature in the Roman Republic
CAC3061: Kings and Commonwealths: Roman Republicanism from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
Contributing Lecturer 2017/2018:
HIS1027: European History
HIS8104: Ideas and Influences in British History
Contributing Lecturer 2015/2016:
CAC1013: Love and Life in Rome and Verona
CAH1013: The Road to Empire
CAC2002: Researching the Classics II
CAC8010: Masterclass in the Classics
- East KA. Deconstructing Divination: Superstition, Anticlericalism, and Cicero's De Divinatione in Enlightenment England, c.1700-1730. In: Richard Evans, ed. Prophets and Profits: Ancient Divination and Its Reception. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, pp.183-198.
- East KA. The Radicalization of Cicero: John Toland and Strategic Editing in the Early Enlightenment. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
- East KA. Apocryphal Cicero: John Toland’s Cicero Illustratus and Notions of Authority in the Early Enlightenment. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 2016, 23(2), 108-126.
- East KA. Cicero the Pantheist: A Radical Reading of Ciceronian Scepticism in John Toland's Pantheisticon (1720). Intellectual History Review 2016, 26(2), 245-261.
- East KA. How to Read Ciceronian Scepticism: Anthony Collins, Richard Bentley, and the Freethought Debate in 1713. In: Manuwald, G, ed. The Afterlife of Cicero. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 2016.
- East KA. Superstitionis Malleus: John Toland, Cicero, and the War on Priestcraft in Early Enlightenment England. History of European Ideas 2014, 40(7), 965-983.