Since September 2017, Mirte Liebregts has been working on a Dissertation on the history on the Loeb Classical Library (1911-). This book series, commonly referred to as ‘the Loeb’, is a remarkable publication within the field of classical studies, as the individual volumes contain both the original Greek and Latin texts and English translations. Although the presence and the constancy of this bilingual book series is nowadays easily taken for granted, Mirte intends to uncover its contingent history by investigating the social circumstances and cultural practices that have shaped the series. In doing so, she hopes to show its cultural importance for making ancient literature available to the mass market on an unprecedented scale. In addition, it will become clear that the series is not just Loeb’s ‘Classical Library’, but that many intellectuals and specialists have been involved with the publication from the start. By exploring the relationship between the series’ multiple stakeholders and the ways in which the publishers of this series positioned themselves in the market, she will lay bare the complex relations of power, competition, and cooperation in which cultural institutions such as the Loeb are situated.
The project involves the examination of unpublished archival material, the paratexts and contents of individual Loeb volumes, and the series’ reception in journals and magazines. The main focus of her research will be the period in which James Loeb was still alive (1909-1933). The Dissertation is expected to be ready in 2022.
About Mirte Liebregts.
Mirte obtained her BA and MA in Classics at the University of Amsterdam and at the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (ACASA). In 2017, she obtained a Master of Studies (M.St.) in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford, where she specialized in the history of classical scholarship and started her research on the Loeb Classical Library. The same year, she started her doctoral research at Radboud University in Nijmegen. Last fall, she spent a semester at Harvard University as part of her project.
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