Dr Shushma Malik
Dr Shushma Malik


Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History

Contact Details: 

Office: 528, Michie Building (9)
Phone: + 61 7 3365 6639
Email: s.malik@uq.edu.au


BA (Hons) in Ancient History (Bristol)
MA in Classics and Ancient History (Bristol)
PhD in Classics (Bristol)


ANCH1250: The Rise of Ancient Rome
LATN2240: Latin Language and Literature II
ANCH2280: Roman Society and Civilisation

Research Interests:

My PhD thesis examined the conception and reception of the emperor Nero’s identification with the Antichrist in late antiquity and the nineteenth century. My main interests lie in exploring the utilisation, manipulation and exploitation of figures from the Roman past in later periods through literature, history, and popular culture.

Current Research Projects:

My next research project will examine rehabilitations of Roman tyrant-emperors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since antiquity, Roman emperors have often been used as standards for either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ leadership. The models implicit in writers such as Tacitus and Suetonius remained prevalent throughout the Medieval and Renaissance periods in texts such as Boccaccio’s De casibus illustrium virorum (1355–1374) and Erasmus’ Institutio principis christiani (1516), but were increasingly challenged in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries across Western Europe. My project will offer the first comprehensive study of such vindications, including emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and Elagabalus, during a period when reinterpretation and rehabilitation were particularly fashionable. I will examine the contexts within which such texts appear (in the period 1820-1914), the approaches of individual authors to vindicating these emperors, and the engagement between the various writers and their texts. More broadly, I will consider what is at stake for writers when they decide to challenge traditional models from antiquity, for both their reputations and their approaches to history.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • Malik, S. ‘All Roads Lead to Rome?: Decadence, Paganism and Catholicism in the Later Life of Oscar Wilde.’ Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens no.80. (2015).
  • Malik, S. ‘Skills Postgraduates Need.’ Council of University Classics Departments Bulletin 44, 2015.
  • Malik, S. ‘Ultimate Corruption Manifest: Nero as the Antichrist in Late Antiquity,’ Acta Classica Supplementum IV (2012) 169-186.
  • [Review] Malik, S. ‘Harrill, J.A. Paul the Apostle: His Life and Legacy in their Roman Context.’ Classical Journal Online (2013).
  • [Review] Malik, S. ‘Icks, M. The Crimes of Elagabalus: The Life and Legacy of Rome's Decadent Boy Emperor.’ Classical Review 62.2 (2012) 604-606.

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