I’m delighted to be able to share the very exciting news that my first article, “She’s Only A Bird in a Gilded Cage: Freedwomen at Trimalchio’s Dinner Party”, is now scheduled for publication; it will appear in volume 62.1 of Classical Quarterly in May 2012.
For me, this is enormously important for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that it’s going to be my first piece of serious peer-reviewed scholarship, and to have it appear in a prestigious journal like Classical Quarterly is a great start to the academic career. However, the idea at the kernel of the article, that there is more to the freedwomen in the Cena Trimalchionis of Petronius’ Satyricon than you would think from the scholarly consensus, has been with me a long time. I wrote a seminar paper on basically the same material in autumn 2006, submitted it for a prize in 2007, didn’t get the prize but got quite a bit of encouragement, and the paper’s basically evolved from there. It went to a different journal first and got rejected, but I got useful feedback that I took on board, so when Classical Quarterly asked me to revise and resubmit I was more than happy to do so. And now that article, that’s been through so many incarnations and which I’ve spent so long working on, is going to be sent to me in proof form to approve in January.
I can’t quite believe this is happening, actually. The unspoken goal of graduate school was to get something published, get something out there. (I misfired at first and tried to get my MPhil thesis out – this was a bad idea, but you can only judge these things in retrospect and it made sense at the time.) And now my very first article is almost there. I have no idea how many people will read it, or indeed how many people will agree or disagree with it. But it’s going to be real. It’s been a long process, and it’s very nearly over – and, I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure how I feel about that now the end is in sight. Oddly bereft, I think.
But there’s still the examination of the proofs to go. I don’t have to say goodbye to this project just yet.