Elton Barker is a reader in Classical Studies at the Open University.
Elton’s research interests include: the agon in ancient Greek literature and thought; Greek epic rivalry and reception; ancient geographies; and digital Classics. His book, Entering the Agon (Oxford University Press, 2009), investigates representations of debate in epic, historiography and tragedy in terms of an interpretative framework of dissent from authority. As well as publishing widely on epic, historiography and tragedy, he has articles on the new Archilochus fragment, oracles in Herodotus and the reception of the Epic Cycle (many of which may be accessed via the Open University’s Open Research Online).
Elton studied Classical Civilisation (I) at the University of Leeds, an MA in Greek Civilisation also at Leeds (Distinction) and then an MA in Greek and Latin at Ohio State. For his PhD (Pembroke College, Cambridge) he worked with Prof. Simon Goldhill and Prof. Paul Cartledge. He was a Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge (2002-4) and a Visiting Fellow at Venice International University (2003-4). Elton has lectured at a number of universities (Bristol, Nottingham and Reading), and was a Tutor and Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford from 2004-9, where he won awards from the University of Oxford for making an outstanding contribution to teaching (2006 and 2007). For the period of 2011-2014 he holds a Research Fellowship for experienced researchers awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for research at the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Leipzig.
In the field of digital Classics, Elton has been Principal Investigator of three projects. With an AHRC Early Career Fellowship from 2008-2010 he developed the HESTIA project, which, involving collaboration between researchers from Classics, Geography and Computing, uses the latest digital mapping tools to investigate Herodotus’s representation of the ancient world. From October 2010 he has been running the Google Ancient Places (GAP) project, which, funded by a Digital Humanities Research Grant from Google, aims to discover ancient places in the Google Books corpus. From February 2011 he has been PI of Pelagios (Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems), which, funded by JISC, brings together an international consortium of ancient world projects in order to link all kinds of data related to ancient places.
He is also on the digital humanities steering group at the OU and co-founder of Classics Confidential with Dr Jessica Hughes.