Dr Shushma Malik: Roman emperors in political culture

Speaker: Dr Shushma Malik

Shushma is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and Onassis Classics Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. She has published on Roman emperors and imperial historiography, as well as classical receptions. Her monograph, The Nero-Antichrist: Founding and Fashioning a Paradigm, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. Her forthcoming co-edited volume, Representing Rome’s Emperors: Historical and Cultural Perspectives through Time, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2024.

Synopsis: Roman emperors have long functioned – and continue to function – in the western imagination as paradigms of imperial leadership to be emulated or avoided. Newspaper articles comparing British prime ministers to Julius Caesar, or US presidents to Nero, signal an enduring fascination with what ancient politics can tell us about modern governmental practices. This talk will take as case studies two pieces of popular political culture that relate to the emperor Nero, but also act as commentaries on contemporary politics – in particular on issues of reform: the anonymously authored pair pamphlets of 1820 Nero Vanquished and Nero Vindicated (a response to the Peterloo Massacre), and a play written by suffragist and social activist Mary Danvers Stocks, Hail Nero, first performed in Salford in 1933


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Event information


13 Mar 2024


2:15 pm


Wednesday Lecture - online and U3AC, Pink room. Places for in person attendance must be pre-booked. Bookings open from 7 days before the lecture.