Theodora Hadjimichael


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am keen to supervise postgraduate students who wish to work on topics related to Greek literature (across all genres) and Greek cultural and intellectual history, including the interaction of poetry with philosophy (Plato), and interdisciplinary approaches to literature.

Current doctoral projects supervised:
Primary supervisor
(1) 'A Harmony of Opposition: Poetry and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues'
(2) 'The Lyre and the Bow: A Complementary Duality'


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I come from ancient Kition in Cyprus, the town that is nowadays called Larnaca, and have studied Philology at the School of Philosophy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece (major: Classical Philology), before moving to the UK to complete an MA and PhD in Classics at University College London. After the completion of my doctorate I had a peripatetic academic career, having held positions at: Middlesex University London, Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, the Open University of Cyprus, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany, The University of Warwick, and The University of Edinburgh. I joined the University of Birmingham in September 2020.

Tip on how to pronounce my surname: My surname is Greek is Χατζημιχαήλ and the pronunciation is actually Hajimihail; imagine the combination of the following three words: haji - miha - eel. That is how it would be pronounced in Cyprus. 

Research interests

My research to date has focused on Greek Lyric poetry and its reception and transmission in antiquity, but my research interests are broad and involve ancient literary and cultural history, Plato and the Peripatos as source of cultural and intellectual history, as well as ancient Greek scholarship. I am also interested in the aesthetics and psychology of music and dance in antiquity, as those were perceived by poets and theorised by philosophers. 

My first monograph The Emergence of the Lyric Canon (2019 Oxford: Oxford University Press UK) explores the complexities of the process of canonisation of lyric poetry by offering both synchronic and diachronic views of the survival and transmission of small-scale poetry in antiquity. The Emergence of the Lyic Canon is the first book that creates a whole and comprehensive narrative on the transmission and canonisation of Greek lyric in late classical and Hellenistic times, and it therefore fills in an important gap in scholarship. It conclusively demonstrates that the canonising process of the lyric poets was already at work from the fifth century BC, and is reflected both on the evaluation of lyric by fourth-century thinkers and on the activities of the Hellenistic scholars in the Alexandrian Library.  

My current research focuses on the reception and critique of sixth- and fifth-century lyric poetry in Plato. The project sits at the interchange of Classics and Philosophy, while it also touches on questions of ancient literary and cultural criticism, aesthetics, psychology, and musicology. One of the aims is to analyse how Plato reappropriates lyric poetry, lyric genres, and also lyric features -song, music, rhythm, and dance- in his dialogues and how he conceptualises the value of lyric activities in his aesthetics and in his moral criticism. Another aim is to examine Plato's influence on ancient perceptions of lyric and more broadly to demonstrate the importance of the fourth century BC in the reception of sixth- and fifth-century lyric poetry in antiquity.


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