launch of the art project Catullan Identities

Call for everyone interested in poetry and creative art - this is an open, collaborative art assignment! No background knowledge or experiences are required - everyone is welcome!

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I am currently in the middle of my research project Queer Catullus - the power of gender impersonation in creative arts that looks at camp aesthetic in the performance of gender in the poetry of the ancient Roman poet Catullus. During my research, I became increasingly frustrated by the dominance of attempts to find the author's intentions behind the poems, and, most importantly, the identity of Catullus. In order to move away from the idea of Catullus as a genius creator behind this lyric poetry, I tried to figure out how to start a conversation with the poems.  Instead of focusing on the author as a narratorial authority, I want to look at the relationship between the reader and the poems as individual personas: how is Catullus relevant to us in the 21. century, and specifically a post-pandemic reality that forces us to redefine social interactions and the relationship we have with ourselves? And how could poetry help us understand the way we visualise ourselves and perform our identities?

For this reason, I created this art assignment. The aim of this project is to visualise identities and relationships in Catullus' poetry and then translate these into our world, our reality. I think that Catullus can teach us a lot about finding our voices and creating a safe space through creative art - be that in a pandemic, post-pandemic, or whatever context.

Please feel free to share this project and to reach out to me with any questions. I look forward to seeing your art creations!

click here to visit the website for Catullan Identities

or follow the project on Instagram @catullani or Twitter @CatullanI

Toni Andres

student, University of St Andrews

Pronouns: they/them

I am currently in my second year of an undergraduate degree in Classics/Comparative Literature at the University of St Andrews. In my research project Queer Catullus - The Power of Gender Impersonation in Creative Arts, I am particularly interested in how Gender and Feminist Studies can be applied to Classical Studies and transformed into accessible and valuable material for community projects with LGBTQ+ teenagers. Following my previous involvement with a project that looked at the impact that climate change had in the Late Bronze Age, I aim to give my studies an interdisciplinary spin. 

If these topics are something you are interested in, I am happy to connect via Social Media to geek out and chat!


Go to the profile of Cath Brislane
5 months ago

This is so great Toni! I've just had a look through the gallery and watching everyone collaborating is pretty awesome :)

If you want, you are welcome to share the website and Twitter all around the arts and humanities chats and channels, it would be great to get more scholars involved!