Anna Grant is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Yale Department of Classics. Her dissertation studies quotations, proverbs, sententiae, and other short forms in the moralizing letters of authors such as Cicero, Horace, and Seneca. Anna’s project shows how these short forms derive authority in these contexts not, as is commonly thought, from being fixed and stable expressions of cultural wisdom, but through their flexible shaping according to expectations of aptness, brevity, and pith. Through conforming to (or falling short of) these subjective norms governing their effective use, these short forms become vehicles for teaching, learning, and displaying knowledge, as well as judging competence with and controlling access to that knowledge.
Issues that motivate Anna’s research in Roman Literature and Culture include: the theory and practice of quotation, especially as it relates to fragmentation, intertextuality, education, exemplarity, and reading practices; problems of originality and authority; the interplay of ethical and aesthetic discourses; the construction of addressees in texts; literary strategies of didacticism; and ancient rhetorical theory.
One of Anna’s particular interests as a humanities instructor is in writing pedagogy, and she has extensive experience in teaching writing. As a Lead Writing Partner for the Yale College Writing Center, she works with undergraduate students on building their communication and research practices, and also runs training and professional development for other tutors. Currently, Anna is completing a Certificate of College Teaching Preparation from the Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
Anna earned her B.A. summa cum laude from Georgetown University, writing an honors thesis on the contradictions between Epicurean philosophy and tropes of literary immortality in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura. In 2016, she was a member of the summer session of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.