Color photograph of the head and torso of Grace Funsten standing in front of blank white wall

Grace Funsten

Emeline Hill Richardson/Arthur Ross Rome Prize
September 6, 2021–July 22, 2022
PhD Candidate, Department of Classics, University of Washington
Project title
En versus facio: Rewriting Augustan Elegy in Latin Epitaphs, Maximianus, and Louise Labé
Project description

My dissertation considers how Augustan elegy transforms across different historical and cultural circumstances by examining three receptions of the genre: poetic grave markers from imperial Rome, Maximianus’ late antique Elegies, and sixteenth-century French author Louise Labé’s Elegies. Through close readings of my case studies and broader interpretations situating the works in their social and historical contexts, I show how each author uses the framework of Augustan elegy, which primarily narrates illicit love affairs, to consider the larger issues of their own changing times. In each case, I show that the authors of my case studies adapted the language of Augustan elegy to their own concerns by changing the identity of the genre’s first-person narrator. Although Augustan elegy was created in response to the particular situation of elite men under Rome’s first emperor, my dissertation shows how its tropes and language could be adapted across cultures, time, and gender.