Dr Lisa Irene Hau
- Senior Lecturer (Classics)
My primary research interest is Greek historiography. I am especially interested in the literary aspect: how the narrative is put together, and how historiography works as a genre. For this purpose it is important to study not just the works that survive in substantial form, but also the ‘fragments’ of those works otherwise lost.
Through my work on Greek historiography I have developed an interest in historiography more broadly (Roman, 21st-century, and everything in between), as well as an interest in literary theory, particularly narratology.
A side interest is Classical and Hellenistic Greek history, particularly Classical Athenian democracy. I am also interested in Greek language, particularly from a grammatical angle.
My book, Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus, argues that Greek historiography was at heart a moral-didactic genre aiming to teach its readers lessons about how to think and behave morally in the world. It analyses the moralising techniques and lessons of the Classical historiographers Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon and the Hellenistic historiographers Polybius and Diodorus as well as of a range of fragmentary historiographers from the Classical and Hellenistic periods. I have also published articles on Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Diodorus, and Greek historiography as a genre. I am currently working on a book about so-called tragic history, i.e. a type of Hellenistic historiography which is generally thought to have been sensationalist and partly fictionalised. It is my theory that this classification of ‘tragic’ history is wrong, and that its practitioners were in fact trying to do what many present-day historians do, namely trying to make the reader engage with history on an emotional as well as an intellectual level.
I have co-organised an international conference, ‘Diodorus Siculus: shared myths, world community, and universal history’ (Glasgow 2011) and a panel at the 2012 Celtic Conference in Classics on ‘Pluralising the Past: truth, belief, and fictionality in Greeek tragedy and historiography’ (Bordeaux 2012).
- 2011: Conference organisation grant from the University of Glasgow Chancellor's Fund for the organisation of the conference ‘Diodorus Siculus: shared myths, world community, and universal history'.
- 2015: Teaching Innovation grant from the University of Glasgow Chancellor's Fund for setting up online summer courses in Greek and Latin.'
- Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Fellowship, held at the University of Heidelberg 2017-18.
I am happy to supervise all projects concerned with historiography. I am also open for projects on other text genres if they are concerned with moral concepts, didacticism, or narratology, as well as for more historically focused projects on the Classical and Hellenistic periods. I am currently supervising a PhD on the philosophical foundations for the concept of universal history and MRes on combat trauma in Roman poetry.
I have supervised undergraduate dissertations on various ancient historiographers, both Greek and Roman, as well as on, among other topics, the Roman conquest of Greece, the use of Alexander the Great by Roman Republican statesmen, the concept of hybris is tragedy and historiography, and the development of the Greek perfect aspect from Classical to Hellenistic times.
I am Postgraduate Convener for Classics and convene both the MLitt in Classics and the MLitt in Ancient Cultures, which is a collaboration between Classics, Archaeology, Egyptology, Celtic, and Theology. I teach postgraduate courses on Thucydides and on Greek political thought.
At Honours level, I teach two Greek courses: ‘Greek Historiography’ and ‘Greek Oratory’. In addition, I teach four Classical Civilisation courses: ‘The Invention of History’, ‘Athenian Democracy: Model or Mob-rule?’, ‘Myths, Fictions, and Histories of Alexander the Great’, and ‘Homer and his Readers’ (this last course is co-taught with Prof. Matthew Fox).
At pre-Honours level, I convene Classical Civilisation 2A 'The Civic Discourse of Classical Athens'. I lecture on both Classical Civilisation 1A ‘Greece from Troy to Plataea’ (lecturing on Herodotus, Greek warfare, Sparta, and early Athenian democracy) and Classical Civilisation 2A ‘The Civic Discourse of Classical Athens’ (lecturing on Thucydides, Athenian democracy, and the Peloponnesian War). I also teach regularly on Greek 2A and 2B (intermediate Greek) and occasionally on Latin 2A and 2B (intermediate Latin).