Dikaia Gavala

Thesis Topic: Popular Republicanism in Restoration Drama

Supervisors: Dr Helen Lynch, Professor Michael Brown

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.):

MA in Literature, Culture, and Ideology (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

BA in English Language and Literature (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

I focus on Restoration drama and political theorists of the Civil War as I find it meaningful to bring to the surface the political struggles of the era. Questions of when resistance against an oppressive government is legitimised and how the disenfranchisement of certain groups is registered in literature are all points that can only add to the modern interpretation of politics.

With my proposed topic for research, popular republicanism, I aim to unearth the Leveller vision of an inclusive republicanism, and the civic humanist vision of citizen participation as prerequisite for a republic, the way I see it manifesting itself in Restoration drama: as a need to feature the people, to reflect on ancient republics, and point out the failings of patriarchalism. I hope, in this way, to offer a new way of looking at Restoration literature but also at the theory of republicanism.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

I like to see myself as a theatre-enthusiast and I absorb most kinds of literature. I quite enjoy swimming and yoga too.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

I chose to apply to the University of Aberdeen as I wish to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature. It is an opportunity to cooperate with academics from across the humanities and it enables the student to open their research against the notion that literary studies are to be shared among the few—literally—versed ones. My supervisors’ interest in the interaction between political and ethical ideas of the early modernity was a major incentive as well.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

It is certainly the openness to cultural diversity which provides me with the confidence to share my academic project but also to experience the city in a positive attitude.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

I trust that my experience in Aberdeen will enable me to delve deeply in research and prepare me to purse an academic career in the long run.  Moreover, I think that the experience of co-operating with academics of other disciplines will enhance my sociopolitical engagement with a new knowledge of the legal, historical and cultural parameters of civil rights; hence enabling me to contribute to the betterment of current living conditions amidst the changing landscape of the economic crisis.