Jessica Blum

Jessica is currently a sixth year graduate student in the Department of Classics. She earned her BA and MA in 2005 from Trinity College Dublin, where she wrote her undergraduate thesis on the characterization of Medea in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica. After teaching Classics in high school for several years, Jessica joined the Classics Department at Yale in 2009.

Jessica is currently writing a dissertation on the language of exemplarity in Valerius’ Argonautica. Her work focuses on the different generic discourses privileged by the narrator and on the characters’ (sometimes discordant) reading of their places in the literary tradition. Her research interests focus on the epic tradition from Homer to Dante, especially Apollonius Rhodius, Vergil, Ovid and the Flavian epicists. Further areas of interest include Latin, Hellenistic and Greek lyric poetry, Senecan tragedy, ecphrasis and the interaction between visual and literary traditions.

Jessica has recently completed an NEH Summer Institute on the Divine Comedy, co-organized an international conference on the epic journey at Yale, and given papers at the APA Annual Meeting and the year-long Departmental Colloquium on the concept of Home. She is looking forward to teaching first year Greek in the Fall, and to speaking at the Flavian Epic Network conference in Budapest, as well as finishing her dissertation and working in the Classics Library.

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