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Dr Polly Stoker is Lecturer in Classical Studies. Polly was awarded her PhD in Classics from the University of Birmingham in 2019 with a thesis titled: "Classical Reception in Contemporary Women’s Writing: Emerging Strategies from Resistance to Indeterminacy". She went on to hold the position of Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham (2019-2021), before joining the History team at Winchester in the summer of 2021.

Polly's doctoral research examined the reception of classical literature and culture in modern and contemporary women’s writing, with an emphasis on receptions of Homeric epic and Greek drama (comedy and tragedy). She proposed a new critical framework based on irony, ambivalence, and indeterminacy to engage with and recognise the multivalence of women’s creative responses to the classical past.

Polly is a research associate at the Institute of Classical Studies and a member of the Women Writers and Classics Network, based at the University of Exeter. She is currently preparing parts of her thesis for publication, while reworking the key findings as a monograph. This new research considers the presence of spoudaiogeloion or "comic seriousness" in the reception of Homeric epic and involves a new look at the idea of a "dialogue" between old and new which dominates current reception studies.

During her time at Birmingham, Polly worked with the education charity Classics for All to coordinate the Birmingham and West Midlands Classics Network. The Network provided support and guidance for classics teaching in the region's state schools. Polly continues to support the charity's activities and vision in Winchester and the surrounding areas.

Areas of expertise

Homeric epic
Classical Greek drama
Classical reception
Literary history
Modern and contemporary women's writing


Stoker, Polly. "Romantic Encounters with Homer in Elizabeth Cook’s Achilles." In Homer’s Daughters: Women’s Responses to Homer, 1914-2014, edited by Fiona Cox and Elena Theodorakopoulos, 39-55. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

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