Florence Thomas

Florence Thomas

email - f.thomas.2@research.gla.ac.uk

Research Title

A Protean Epic: Classical influence in post-modern American epic

Research Summary

My research explores the relationship between the Classical epic and postmodern Ameri-can fiction, engaging with the idea of traditional epic to inform our understanding of such postmodern authors as Don DeLillo, Helen DeWitt and David Foster Wallace. My thesis identifies and explores three Contemporary epics, adopting a geo-historical perspective and utilising conceits including ekphrasis and katabasis to offer an interrogation of Contempo-rary literature. By reading the overlooked mythography of Postmodern novels and exploring the relationship between modern superpower and Classical empire, this project offers an investigation into the repurposing of Classical epic archetypes in postmodern American fiction.



David Foster Wallace Symposium, University of Glasgow, 2018

  • Paper: ‘The Underworlds of Infinite Jest’
  • Panel Chair: Gender and Wallace Trouble

Hunterian Associates Showcase, Hunterian Museum, 2018

  • Paper: ‘Contemporary Classics: Women and the Epic’

David Foster Wallace: Between Philosophy and Literature, University of Chieti-Pescara, 2018

  • Paper: ‘‘Contraria Sunt Complementa’: Classical Epic and the Language of Wallace’

David Foster Wallace Symposium, University of Glasgow, 2017

  • Paper: “Ut Pictura Poesis’: Ekphrasis in Infinite Jest’


  • 1A Poetry and Poetics
  • 1B Novel and Narratology

Additional Information


  • David Foster Wallace Research Group
  • Hunterian Research Associate

Organisational Committees

  • David Foster Wallace Symposium 2019