Reconsidering the Sources of the Self in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Periods


Olivia Hopewell

PhD Student, Bryn Mawr College

Olivia is a 4th year PhD student in the department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College. She completed her MA thesis last year, in which she applied a Levinasian phenomenological framework to the reception of autobiography, utilizing two case studies from late antiquity: Augustine’s “Confessions” and Dhuoda’s “Liber Manualis.” Currently, she is working on her preliminary examinations, including one on feminist theory in classics and one on theaters of interaction in Plato’s middle dialogues.

Her research interests revolve around the relationship between the self, the other, and the text. In her dissertation, she hopes to continue to work through the ideas she began in her MA thesis by analyzing the advent of writing as a technology of the self, the ways in which we use writing as a means of self-disclosure to the other, and the ways that we as others engage with written selves. Ultimately, she wants to continue thinking about what it means to be in the world with others, how to be in the world with others, and the ways that the very act of reception is implicated by these questions as an ethical activity.

Presentation title: Seeking the Self in the Sentence: Reconsidering Ethical Reception of Autobiography

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