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Katherine Harloe (School of Advanced Study, University of London)

Katherine Harloe

Katherine Harloe
Image Credit: Matthew Knight

Fellow in Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters

April 2024

Winckelmann's Fractured Classic

The research during Harloe’s Senior Fellowship period will focus on two areas:

1. Advancing Winckelmann’s Love Letters, Harloe’s ongoing book project on Winckelmann’s multilingual correspondence as a case study in the interrelation of Latinate and vernacular, aesthetic, pedagogic and scholarly modes of reception of antiquity, in relation to the history of identity expressions of sexual minorities. Her study of Winckelmann’s correspondence opens up questions relative to Temporal Communities EXC in three ways: as a case study in the afterlife of classical epistolary rhetoric in vernacular writing of modern era, as an interrogation of the after-effects of certain modes of biographical scholarship prevalent in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literary history and as a contribution to queer history. In Berlin she will seek, through engagement with the researcher community and activities of RA2 Travelling Matters as well as RA1 Enlightened Medialities and RA3 Multiple Modernities?, to inquire into the complexity of the temporalities invoked by these reception processes, exploring how reception of not just of ideas about antiquity, but of modes of reading and composition, shape communities of readers and writers that transcend linguistic and temporal boundaries.

2. In addition, she will collaborate with Dr Anna Degler, on Centre/pieces: De-centring and Re-centring the Belvedere Torso. This workshop will bring an international and interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners together to explore and develop insights into the post-antique reception of the Belvedere Torso. This Greco-Roman statue, a centrepiece of the classical visual canon formed in the Renaissance, has always being known only as a fragment, a powerful body in pieces, inspiring manifold attempts at supplementation and completion in various media. Examining Winckelmann’s reception of the Torso alongside other scholarly, artistic and curatorial engagements will allow for a deeper insight into complex temporal, normative and political reference systems that are constitutive of classical receptions and offer a paradigmatic case study of intermediary literary and artistic practices.

Professor Katherine Harloe is Director of the Institute of Classical Studies in the School of Advanced Study (University of London), the UK’s national centre for the advancement of humanities research. She is an interdisciplinary classicist whose research spans the history of classical scholarship and the reception of Greek and Roman antiquity in European cultures from the eighteenth century to the present, with an accent on questions of historical method, sexuality, gender and race. She is a leading expert on the eighteenth-century scholar Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the so-called ‘father’ of art history, and is also known for publications on historiographic method in thinkers ranging from Thucydides and Pausanias to Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Hannah Arendt. She is also principal investigator of ‘Beyond Notability: Re-evaluating Women’s Work in Archaeology, History and Heritage in Britain, 1870 - 1950’, a major UK AHRC-funded collaborative project which explores the potential of linked open data to recover and represent historical evidence of women’s work buried in archives.