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Professor Karla Pollmann

Academic Career:

I studied Greek, Latin, Theology and Education at the Universities of Tübingen, Munich, Cambridge (UK), and Bochum, where I also did my PhD on early Christian poetry (1990). I have taught at universities in Europe, the US, Canada, and South Africa, and have held academic positions at the universities of Bielefeld, Konstanz, St Andrews (Scotland), and the University of Kent (Canterbury). I have been a Visiting Scholar at the universities of Vienna, Colorado/Bolder, Green College (UBC, Vancouver), and Tübingen. I was a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the Netherlands institute for Advanced Study (once as an individual member and once as leader of a theme group), and have received research funding from the Thyssen Foundation, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the British Academy, the St Andrews Russell Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and the European Research Council. I am interested in working with disciplines beyond Classics and Theology, and have led interdisciplinary research groups.

I greatly enjoy working with critically thinking PhD students in the fields of Classical Literature and culture, Religious Studies (especially Early Christianity, and the interaction of pagan and early Christian thought), as well as reception aspects of the ancient world through the ages. I am keen to explore innovative ways of interdisciplinary teaching on the graduate level, and for this purpose founded and directed (2014-16) at Kent the Centre for Early Christian Studies and Its Reception. I serve as panel member of various research councils, advise regularly on major research enterprises internationally, and am co-editor of various classical and early Christian monograph series and journals. I joined the University of Reading in 2016.

Awards and Honours:
  • Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow at UCL (1993-5)
  • Member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (1999)
  • Charter Fellow Wolfson College, Oxford (1999/2000)
  • PI of a Leverhulme Major Research grant on the historical reception of Augustine of Hippo (2003-11)
  • Member of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (2003-4 and 2008-9)
  • Cecil and Ida Green Visiting Professor in Residence, UBC, Vancouver (2006)
  • Sir Ron Cooke International Scholarship, awarded by the Higher Education Academy (2012-13)
  • Co-ordinator, together with Prof. Gabriele Cornelli, of a two-year partnership between the University of Kent and the Archai UNESCO Chair for Ancient Philosophy (Universidade de Brasília), entitled "Encounters: Ancient Thought from a Global Perspective", financed by the Brazilian Government (CAPES; 2015-16)
  • Co-I of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network on "The History of Human Freedom and Dignity in Western Civilisation (2016-19), see (2016-19)
External Appointments:

In 2008 I was made Adjunct Professor of Theology at the University of Århus (Denmark), and in 2011 Professor Extraordinary in Classics at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Since 2003 I have been a member of the Peer review College of the AHRC. In 2012/13 I was an international expert member in a committee evaluating all Dutch universities in Classics (organised by QANU). Since 2014 I am an international expert on the panel CULT2 of the FWO.

My external editorial responsibilities include Co-editor (1997-) of the Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum/Journal of Ancient Christianity (De Gruyter, Berlin); Co-editor (2010-) of the Monograph Series for Classics Hypomnemata (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen); Co-editor (2012-), previously Advisory Board (2004-2012), of the international and interdisciplinary journal and monograph series Millennium (De Gruyter, Berlin); Co-editor (2012-) of the Classics monograph series Texte und Kommentare (De Gruyter, Berlin); Co-editor of the Brill Encyclopaedia of Early Christianity (2012-); Editorial Board (2013-) of Brill's Late Ancient Literature. A Mnemosyne Supplement, and Co-editor (2014-) of the interdisciplinary monograph series Studies in Church History (Brill, Leiden).


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