I’m Carol Atack (@carolatack), a classicist working on ancient Greek political thought and its contemporary reception. My current research interests are, on the ancient side, the political thought of Xenophon, and on the reception side, the use of classical texts and ideas in radical Postmarxist political theory. These themes are linked by the enthusiasm with which all parties read Plato, an enthusiasm that I share. For this academic year I’m a teaching fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, teaching a range of Greek language classes and convening a module on Sexuality and Gender in Antiquity (luckily for me, Xenophon has lots to say on sex and gender topics).
My background is in both classics and political theory; I have bachelor’s degrees in both Government (London School of Economics) and Classics (Cambridge), and completed my graduate studies in the Faculty of Classics at Cambridge. Between my two separate and very different periods of study, I trained and worked as a journalist and technical writer, working first for magazines with titles such as Acorn User and MacUser, and then as a writer and consultant for technology companies small and large.
I’ve been using what is now called social media for my work for over 25 years, starting with command-line based bulletin boards, and adopting various new media platforms as they’ve emerged and developed. I’ve been able to transfer some old-media editing skills, such as writing to precise character counts, to new platforms such as Twitter. My experiences and interests have led me to think a lot about transferring skills in and out of the academic world of humanities, and navigating non-traditional career paths, two topics I hope to discuss during my week as curator.
Other interests, when the constant juggling of work and family life permits, include theatre, especially engagements with classical drama, and contemporary art, especially sculpture.