Hamish Williams holds a PhD in Classical Literature from the University of Cape Town (2017) and is currently a guest researcher at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has previously held a Junior Fellowship at the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies in Warsaw (2021-2022) and a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of English and American Studies, Friedrich Schiller University Jena (2019-2021). He has also taught International Studies at Leiden University and European Literature at the University of Groningen, where he has covered a wide array of courses, from classical mythology to early-modern philosophy to postcolonial literature.
Hamish’s main research area is Classical Reception Studies, particularly the legacy of Grece and Rome in modern literature and popular genres such as fantasy; however, he is broadly interested in modern literary studies, and his research covers themes such as utopianism, hospitality, decline, and the sublime. His current project focuses on modern receptions of Minoan Crete; specifically, he is interested in the usage of Minoan symbols such as the Minotaur and Labyrinth to act as metaphors for mental experiences. His book publications include Tolkien and the Classical World(ed.) (Walking Tree Publishers, 2021); The Ancient Sea: The Utopian and Catastrophic in Classical Narratives and their Reception (ed.) (Liverpool University Press, 2022); and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Utopianism and the Classics (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023). His articles can be found in various peer-reviewed journals, including Tolkien Studies, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Journal of Inklings Studies. Outside of academic writing, Hamish tries keeping up with his polyglot family and is working on his own series of fantasy novels, the first of which, The Southern Tide(2021), has been published.