The Kudos Foundation: Supporting Classical Studies in Australia

Current Projects

Quick links:

Kevin Lee Fellowship (Fundraising)
Kevin Lee Lectureship
Kevin Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Sydney
Projects under consideration
How you can help


Project 3: The Kevin Lee Fellowship

(Fundraising 2008-2009)


The Kevin Lee Lectureship

The Kudos Foundation has already supported a lectureship in Classics at the University of Sydney over the period 2004-2006, named the Kevin Lee Lectureship, in memory of Professor Kevin H Lee, a great teacher and scholar, and a driving force in the establishment of the Kudos Foundation. The appointment of Dr Emma Gee as the first Kevin Lee Lecturer was a huge success. A graduate of Sydney University who returned to Australia in 2003 after an outstanding early career in the UK, she took her doctorate from Cambridge in 1998, and this won the prestigious Hare Prize for the best Ph.D. in its year, as well as a position at the University of Exeter. Her first book – Ovid, Aratus and Augustus – Astronomy in Ovid’s ‘Fasti’ – was very well received. She showed enormous energy and commitment in all aspects of her post as Kevin Lee Lecturer. A highly effective teacher of both Latin and Greek, she initiated several important access initiatives with NSW schools and maintained a high international profile in research. It is a testament to the success of the Kevin Lee Lectureship that Dr Gee went on to take up a permanent post at the University of St Andrews in the UK.


The Kevin Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Sydney

(Commencing in early 2009)

Kudos intends to build on the success of the Kevin Lee Lectureship by supporting a rising young scholar at an early stage of his or her career in a postdoctoral fellowship, also named after Kevin Lee. Posts such as this are extremely rare in the humanities in this country, and they are key to the future of the discipline. All too often talented young scholars must leave Australia because of the lack of just such opportunities.  An agreed form of collaboration with Sydney University offers the possibility of joint funding of this important post. The University of Sydney has committed substantial financial support for the establishment of a Classics Centre. The Kevin Lee Postdoctoral Fellow will be the very first academic occupant of the Centre. Although mainly a research position, the Kevin Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship includes a small amount of regular teaching, and so in addition to providing support to a promising young researcher at early stage of his or her career, it will alleviate the now chronic difficulties of providing high-quality instruction in ancient languages at publicly-funded universities in Australia.

The first Kevin Lee Fellow -  Dr Sebastiana Nervegna From a stellar field, with applicants from all the major world centres of Classical scholarship, Dr Nervegna comes to Australia with a fine record from the University of Bologna (Laurea in Lettere e Filosofia) and the University of Toronto (Ph. D.) She wrote her thesis on the reception of the comic poet Menander in antiquity. This thesis is now on its now way to becoming an important book, Menander in Antiquity: the Contexts of Reception; and she has already published a number of articles in the area of Greek and Roman drama and its reception.

Dr Nervegna’s Research

Menander was antiquity’s greatest culture-hero, topping even Homer and Euripides, whether one counts quotations, theatrical re-performances, surviving portraits (70), papyri (more than 100), or artistic representations of his narratives (about 150). For nearly a millennium his comedies were staples of the stage, the schoolroom, and the dinner parties of cultivated elites. Yet after 600 AD Menander’s works vanished, leaving little more than a handful of one-line quotations until copies of his plays began to emerge from the sands of Egypt little more than a century ago. Nervegna’s study of the rise and fall of Menander’s popularity is the first major work on the reception of his drama in antiquity.

It is much to the benefit of the research profile of Sydney University, and indeed of our country, that this post attracted such an outstanding field of young scholars from all over the world, and that the appointee is an Italian-born and -educated scholar with a higher degree from Canada’s leading University. But there is also a special serendipity in Dr Nervegna’s appointment. Sydney has a very special association with the poet Menander. In 1957, a text of virtually all of  Menander’s play the Dyskolos or the Grumpy Old Man appeared on tattered papyrus from the sands of Egypt. It was the early collaboration of the last Professor of Greek at Sydney University, William Ritchie, with three other Sydney scholars, that provided the stimulus for a production of that comedy in Sydney soon after. This was the first production of Menander’s Dyskolos in the original language anywhere in the world since Antiquity (it was staged in Athens a few days earlier, but in Modern Greek). A number of events open to the public are planned around the 50th anniversary of this important event and will involve contributions from Dr Nervegna.

 

Projects Under Consideration

» Macquarie Papyri Project


How You Can Help

Kudos has undertaken to raise $110,880 towards the Kevin Lee Fellowship at the University of Sydney by the end of 2009. Significant donations, and updates on progress towards this target can be found on the Significant Donations page of the Kudos website.

» How to make a donation