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Tomos Evans

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

John Milton and Hellenistic Poetry: Encounters, Interactions, and Transformations

My research centres predominantly on the life and writings of John Milton (1608-1674). My AHRC-funded PhD thesis, Milton’s Hellenism (due for submission in June 2023), comprehensively re-evaluates Milton’s intensive and creative engagement with Greek texts and scholarship throughout his poetic and political career. Milton’s Hellenism enhances our understanding of Milton’s reading of Greek literature, ranging from Homeric and Hellenistic epics through to Byzantine and Early Modern Greek texts.

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature

Publications

Book Review, Syrithe Pugh (ed.), Conversations: Classical & Renaissance Intertextuality (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020) in The Spenser Review, 52.3 (Winter 2022). here

Book Review, Helen Lovatt, In Search of the Argonauts (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), ARGO, A Hellenic Review, 15 (Spring 2022). here

Book Review, Valentina Prosperi and Federica Ciccolella (eds.), La fortuna di Omero nel Rinascimento tra Bisanzio e l'Occidente (Alessandria: Edizioni dell'Orso, 2020), Renaissance Quarterly, 75.4 (Winter 2022).

Book Review, William Weaver, Homer in Wittenberg: Rhetoric, Scholarship, Prayer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022), Renaissance Studies (Forthcoming, 2023).

Journal Article, 'Blind Oedipus and Eyeless Dog: John Milton in Robert Creighton's Translation of Sylvester Syropoulos (1660)', Milton Quarterly, 55.3-4 (2021), 228-234. here

Blog Post, ''"So Nefarious a Traffic": a Newly-Discovered Eighteenth-Century Schoolboy's Attack on the Transatlantic Slave Trade', AHRC-funded Research Project, Schools of Empire: Class and Colonialism, c.1750-1945. here

Book Chapter, 'Homeric Re-Formations: Cento Poetics, Protestant Exegesis, and James Duport's Greek Paraphrase of the Book of Job, Threnothriambos (1637)', in Classical Reformations: Beyond Christian Humanism, eds. Micha Lazarus and Lucy Nicholas, Warwick Series in Renaissance Thought and Culture. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2023)

Journal Article, 'Milton's Subversive Greek: Latin-Greek Code-Switching in Milton's Prolusion VI', in Journal of Latin Cosmopolitanism and European Literatures (JOLCEL), 9, Special Issue: Latin-Greek Code-Switching in Early Modernity, eds. Raf van Rooy and William Barton. (Forthcoming, 2023)

Critical Edition, Tomos Evans and Olivia Montepaone (eds.), A New Translation and Commentary on Longinus by Leo Allatius (1586-1669), Brill's Sources in Early Poetics (SEP) series, Gen. eds. Micha Lazarus and Vladimir Brljak. (Forthcoming, 2025). here

Conferences

'Authorship, Translation, and John Milton's 'Naturam non pati senium' in Bod.Eng.Poet.F.17', Challenges of the Archive, Centre for Literary Editing and Material Texts (CLEMT), University of Birmingham, 23rd October 2019.

'Blind Painting: Vision and Ekphrasis in Constantine Cavafy's 'Oedipus'', Poetry and Painting: Conversations, University of Oxford, 23rd March 2020 [Cancelled due to Covid].

'James Duport's Threnothriambos (1637), Cento Poetics, and Homeric Reformations', Classical Reformations: Beyond Christian Humanism, Warburg Institute, London, 3rd September 2021. [Online] here

'Argonautic and/or Odyssean Satan: Disruptive Models and the Epic Tradition in Books I and II of Paradise Lost', British Milton Seminar, University of Birmingham, 16th October 2021. [Online] here

'How did Milton read Homer?', "Unfinished Business" Research Seminar, Institute for English Studies, Senate House, London, 3rd November 2021. here

'Milton and the Legacy of Sixteenth-Century Greek Humanism', Renaissance Society of America Conference, Dublin, 2nd April 2022.

'Beyond Homer: John Milton's Paradise Lost and Greek Epic', Guest Lecture at Eötvös Loránd University (at the invitation of Dr Attila Ferenczi and Dr Miklós Peti), Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, 7th April 2022. here

'Milton's Cambridge Greek', Fellowship Lecture, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck, 15th May 2022. here

'Greek Scholarship, Ancient Scholiasts, and Milton as Scholar-Poet', The 2022 Conference on John Milton, Saint Louis University, Missouri, 22nd June 2022. Recipient of the Kevin Donovan Award for the Best Paper by a Graduate Student at the 2022 Conference on John Milton. here

'Neo-Latin and Neualtgriechisch: Restored Symbiosis or Artificial Tandem?', International Association of Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS) Conference, KU Leuven, Belgium, 31 July – 6 August 2022.

'Greek-Latin Code-Switching in Milton's 'Sixth Prolusion'', Latin-Greek Code-Switching in Early Modernity: A Cross Disciplinary Workshop, Ghent University, Belgium, 13-14 October 2022.

'Milton without Miltonists', Milton Society of America Sponsored Roundtable, Modern Languages Association Convention, San Francisco, US, 5-8 January 2023.

'Milton's 'Diodatian' Poetics: Friendship and Imitation in Epitaphium Damonis', Milton Society of America Sponsored Panel, 'New Perspectives on Milton's Poetics', San Juan RSA, Puerto Rico, 9-11 March 2023.

'Milton among the Hellenists: Lucas Holste, Leone Allacci, and Reassessing Milton's Hellenic Interests in Italy (1638-39)', The Thirteenth International Milton Symposium, University of Toronto, 10-14 July 2023.

'John Milton and William Chappell: Education, Homosociality, and Violence', roundtable organised by Tomos Evans and Dr Jeffrey Gore (University of Illinois at Chicago), The Thirteenth International Milton Symposium, University of Toronto, Canada, 10-14 July 2023. Along with Tomos and Dr Gore, participants will include: Professor Edward Jones (Ohio State University); Professor Stephen Guy-Bray (University of British Columbia); Professor Lara Dodds (Mississippi State University); Professor David Currell (American University of Beirut); and Professor Michael Gadaleto (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).


Public Engagement & Impact

Doctoral Internship on the AHRC-funded Research Project, Schools of Empire: Class and Colonialism, c.1750-1945

During the placement, I examined archives at a large number of public schools, universities and research libraries around the UK (including Shrewsbury School, Winchester College, Eton College, and Balliol College, Oxford. I  shared my research findings online in the form of tweets and blog posts and I have presented my findings at presentations at Rugby School. I shared archival findings on the Schools of Empire Twitter account and my work was also shared by Dr Timothy Guard and Dr Thomas Smith at the Rugby Schools Meeting at Charterhouse in March 2023 to share the results of my research.

The lecture that I delivered to staff and students at Rugby School on 25th March 2022, 'Imperium: Classics, Empire and Colonialism in Public Schools, 1700-1900', will form the paper that I will ultimately deliver at the 3-day conference, hosted at Rugby School, in 2024 on 'Schools of Empire'. I have written a blog post concerning one particularly intriguing archival find - a Rugby pupil's Latin theme from 29th September 1789 expressing strong, abolitionist views (British Library, Add. MS 34595) - which is on the Schools of Empire website.

Other Research Interests

Milton Studies; Classical Reception; Education; Poetics; Greek Literature; Epic Poetry.

Memberships

Member of the British Milton Seminar

Member of the Milton Society of America

Member of the Modern Language Association

Member of the Renaissance Society of America

Member of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies 

Member of the University of Birmingham's Centre for Literary Editing and the Materiality of the Text (CLEMT)

Member of the University of Birmingham's Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS) 

Member of the Executive Committee of the Society for Neo-Latin Studies (SNLS).

Member of the Somerville Teachers' Network.

Bio

Tomos gained his BA in English from the University of Bristol in 2015 where he was the recipient of several departmental prizes, including the Roy Littlewood Prize for Best Dissertation, the Savage Prize for Best Final Year Performance, and the Moira Megaw Prize for Best Overall Performance. He also spent the second year of his undergraduate studies as an Erasmus student at the Université Paris-Sorbonne from 2013-14.

After graduating from Bristol, Tomos then gained his M.St. in English at Somerville College, University of Oxford, where he wrote a dissertation on John Milton's Paradise Regain'd under the supervision of Dr Margaret Kean. Following Oxford, Tomos worked as an English Teacher at Tonbridge School in Kent (2016-17) and then at Godolphin & Latymer School in Hammersmith (2017-19). While working full-time in London and undertaking a PGCE in Secondary Education, Tomos also gained a MA in Classics from Birkbeck, University of London, which was fully funded by the Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship.

Additional Funding

I have been in receipt of numerous awards of additional funding from the AHRC for research trips, conferences, language training and professional development. In addition to my AHRC studentship, I have also been awarded by the AHRC:

 £2,637.49 covering travel, accommodation, and conference fees to attend the Renaissance Society of America conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico (9-11 March 2023).

£2,031.11 covering travel and accommodation costs for archival research in Italy (Rome, Florence, and Parma) from January to March 2023.

£1,903.15 covering travel, accommodation, and conference fees to attend the Modern Language Association Convention in San Francisco (5-8 January 2023).

£2,203.00 covering travel, accommodation, and conference fees for research in the United States from 11th June to 25th July. Through this award, I was able to undertake archival research at the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; attend and present at the John Milton Conference at Saint Louis University, Missouri; and undertake research at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

£1,714.47 to attend the University of the West-Indies and University of Leicester PhD/ECR Summer School on 'Cultures and Politics of Protest' at the Moma Campus in Kingston, Jamaica (21 May – 6 June 2022).

£168.90 for accommodation and travel costs for a research trip to the University of Cambridge (1-3 November 2021).

£1,312.58 for 8 weeks of intensive Spoken Latin training at the Accademia Vivarium Novum, Rome (29 June - 23 August 2020).

£532.76 covering travel, accommodation, and conference fees for the Renaissance Society of America Conference in Dublin (29th March to 2nd April 2022).

£987.73 for travel, accommodation, and conference fees for the International Association of Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS) Conference at Leuven, Belgium 29 July - 6 August 2022)

£423.50 covering course fees, travel, and accommodation for the 'Warwick-Warburg Resources and Techniques for the Study of Renaissance and Early Modern Culture', a week-long course providing specialist research training to doctoral students working on Renaissance and Early Modern subjects (postponed due to Covid).

£486 to undertake the PRINCE2 Project Management Qualification. I completed the course in late-November 2021, then I sat and passed the exam on 5th January 2022.

3-month stipend extension (plus access to up to £1,400 in additional research costs) to undertake a doctoral internship with the AHRC-funded research project, Schools of Empire: Class and Colonialism, funded by Rugby School and the AHRC. 


Beyond the AHRC, I have also been the recipient of the following sources of funding for my postgraduate research:

£7,950 from the Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship at Birkbeck, University of London. I was a Hobsbawm Scholar at Birkbeck from 2017-19 to undertake a part-time MA in Classics at Birkbeck's Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology. This Scholarship served as a full-fee waiver and was established in memory of one of the greatest historians of the last century in order to encourage the next generation of scholars in the Humanities to pursue original, high-quality and exciting research by assisting financially with study and research costs.

£70 bursary awarded by New Classicists journal in order to attend the Belfast Summer School's Advanced Greek course, 27-31 July 2020.

€1,200 for a one-month Research Fellowship at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck. From 18th April to 20th May 2022, I was based at the LBI where I focused on research for a thesis chapter titled 'Milton's Cambridge Greek'.

£856.58 from the Postgraduate Research Support Fund of the University of Birmingham's College of Arts and Law to cover travel and accomodation in order to attend the Thirteenth International Milton Symposium at the University of Toronto, 10-14 July 2023.

£125 from The British Society for Literature & Science (BSLS) Postgraduate and Early Career Conference Fund to cover the registration fee for the Thirteenth International Milton Symposium at the University of Toronto, 10-14 July 2023.

Travel and accommodation costs to attend the workshop 'Latin-Greek Code-Switching in Early Modernity' on 13-14 October 2022 covered by Ghent University's Scientific Research Network "Literatures without Borders: A Historical-Comparative Study of Premodern Literary Transnationality" and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies.


Roles in Learned Societies

Postgraudate Representative of the Society for Neo-Latin Studies

Since November 2020, I have been the Postgraduate Representative of the SNLS. In this role, I have organised events that are designed to benefit doctoral researchers in the field of Neo-Latin Studies, as well as Early Career researchers. Two large, online events I organised were:

  •  'Active Latin for Neo-Latin Research' (19 June 2021): this event showcased the use of 'Active' (or 'Spoken') Latin to enhance the teaching and study of Neo-Latin texts and explore Latin as a spoken language in the Early Modern period. The event consisted of talks from Professor Milena Minkova (University of Kentucky), Professor Terence Tunberg (University of Kentucky), and Professor Sarah Knight (University of Leicester). There was also an interactive and immersive workshop led by Professor Minkova and Professor Tunberg using genres of Neo-Latin texts (such as the Colloquia familiaria) for engaging with the practice of 'Active Latin'.
  • 'Editing and Translating Neo-Latin Texts' (17 June 2022): in this event, three leading scholars in Neo-Latin Studies shared their thoughts and offered advice regarding the practicalities and challenges involved in editing and translating Neo-Latin texts. There were presentations by Professor Stephen Harrison ('Commenting on Neo-Latin Texts: a Classical Perspective'), Professor Ingrid de Smet ('What should Go in a Book / Project Proposal for a Neo-Latin Text Edition?'), and Dr Sharon van Dijk ('Only for Those in the Know: the Challenges of Translating the Correspondence of Zwingli and Oecolampadius').
  • 'Neo-Latin and Global Encounters' (September 2023): details TBC.

Research Assistant, Centre for Literary Editing and Material Texts (CLEMT)

From March to June 2021, I was a Research Assistant at the University of Birmingham's Centre for Literary Editing and Material Texts. I expanded CLEMT's social media presence and I attended weekly meetings with the Research Centre's co-directors, Dr Oliver Hertford and Dr Louise Curran, in which we organised future events. For example, I organised the event, hosted by the University of Birmingham, 'Work (Not) in Progress: Archival Research During the Pandemic (13 March 2021). Participants included Professor Hugh Adlington, Dr Emma West, Dr Hannah Yip, Dr Thomas Clifton, and myself.

Teaching (Qualificaitons, Employment, and Experience)

English Teacher at Tonbridge School, Kent (2016-2017).

English Teacher at Godolphin and Latymer School, London (2017-2019).

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education (English), University of Buckingham (2017-2018).

Induction Certificate (completion of necessary training and qualifications for the profession of school teacher in England) gained in 2019.

PGTA in the Classics Department, University of Birmingham (January to March 2020), assisting Dr Gideon Nisbet in the delivery of the 3rd Year Classics BA module: 'LH Hellenistic Literature (29632)'.