Anna Foka

Anna FokaAssociate senior lecturer
Phone: +46 90 786 80 04


I am currently an Associate Senior Lecturer at HUMlab, Umeå University. For the next four years (2013-2017) I will be studying and constructing multisensory conceptual digital prototypes of ancient entertainment spaces (Greek Theatre, Roman Amphitheatre, Hippodrome). I am a proud member of the research group UGPS (Umeå Group for Premodern Studies).

My broad research interests include cultural and social history, history for different frames, constructions of socio- cultural identity, gender studies, and the relationship between historical culture(s) and contemporaneity. I have published in the fields of gender and humour in Graeco-Roman culture, and the reception of antiquity in popular culture.

I defended my PhD thesis in ancient comedy and the construction of Greek identity (Liverpool 2010). I have a MA in Classics and Ancient History (Liverpool 2006), and a 4-year MA degree in Performance Studies in Premodernity (NCU Athens 2003). Prior to my current position, I was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies at Umeå University (in collaboration with the school of History) and I have held lecturing positions at both Manchester and Liverpool University (UK). In my spare time I enjoy compiling and listening to music, swimming, fencing, painting, and gaming.

Current Position and Title

Associate Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Culture: HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden (Tenure Track)

Funded Research Projects

2013-2017: Digital Bread and Circuses, HUMlab, Umeå University
Part of the project Screens as Material, at Umeå University
2013-2014: Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology and Practice
Co-financed by HUMlab, Strong Research Environment of the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, and Riksbanken Jubileumsfond. External funding applications co-authored with Mr. Viktor Arvidsson
2011-2013: Gender and Humour in Graeco-Roman Cultures and their Reception
Funded by the Strong Research Environment at Umeå University. Funding application co-authored with Professor Jonas Liliequist.

Previously Held Positions

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, (in collaboration with the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies-Project: Emotions in Premodernity), Umeå University, Sweden.

Sessional Lecturer at the Department of Histories, Languages, and Cultures, Manchester University, UK. (Teaching Appointment)

Honorary Research Fellow in Classics (School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology) The University of Liverpool, UK.

Teaching Assistant at the Department of Archaelogy, Classics, and Egyptology, The University of Liverpool, UK (Teaching Appointment)

Conference/ Workshop Organisation:

March 2014: Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology, and Practice, HUMlab, Gender Sudies and Informatics, Umeå University, Sweden. Paper Presented: Digital Gladiatrixes: Action chicks and Historical Culture in Computer Games.
(webpage: )

December 2012: Workshop on Gender, Laughter and Humour Across Cultures and Time, Department of History, Umeå University, Sweden. (with Professor Jonas Lilliequist) Paper presented: 'Mimes: Humour and Emotional Manipulation in Late Antiquity'.

June 2009: co-organiser of Learning and Teaching conference at the University of Liverpool: "What's New for Old Languages" (in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Reinhard, The American School in Athens). (see podcast here:

Selected Conference Papers and Invited Talks:

November 2014: (forthcoming): "Digital Prototyping and the Sensory Experience", (invited talk) The Oxford Archive for Roman and Greek Performances, Annual Seminar Series, Oxford University, UK.

March 2014: "Digital Gladiatrixes: Historical Gender Construction for Gaming Purposes" Digital Gender HUMlab, Umea University

March 2014: " Digital Bread and Circuses: Sensory Prototypes for Different Screens" Digital Humanities Australasia 2014, Perth, Western Australia

December 2013: "Arenas for Screens", Big Tent Digital Humanities HUMlab Umeå University, Sweden.

November 2013: "Sensory Data and Digital Prototypes for the Roman Amphitheatre: a case Study for Sound", The Empire of The Senses: Methodologies in Sensory Archaeology, The Open University, UK.

August 2013: "Humour and Popular Culture Conference", Popular Culture, Sexuality and Church Censorship, The University of Glasgow, UK.

October 2013: "Digital Bread and Circuses: Prototypes for Different Screens" the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia (Invited talk) (see podcast here:

September 2013: "Byzantine drama and Christian Censorship", Censorship Conference from Plato to Wikileaks": Adelaide, the University of Adelaide. South Australia

June 2013: "The Girls of Spartacus as Half-Naked and Empowered? The Impact of Gender Theory in Modern Sword and Sandal Television Series", The Hawaii International Conference in Social Sciences, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

October 2013: "Digital Bread and Circuses", Invited talk, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

June 2012: "Cherchez la Femme: Greek Prostitutes, Agency and Humour",  iGala: International Conference in Gender and Language: Sao Leopoldo, Brazil.

September 2011: "From Lais to Theodora: Courtesans, Emotional Manipulation and Humour in Greek Literature", Emotions: East and West Developed jointly by historians at Sabancı University (İstanbul), Bilkent University (Ankara), University of Washington (Seattle) and the Network for Cultural History of Emotions in Pre-modernity (CHEP) at Umeå University,

June 2009: "What's New for Old Languages" Learning and Teaching conference at the University of Liverpool: " (in collaboration with Mr. Andrew Reinhard, The American School in Athens).

April 2009: "Animals, Women and Humour in Greek Middle Comedy". The Annual Classical Association Conference in Classics, The University of Glasgow.

July 2008: Conference in the Memory of Christianne Sourvinou-Inwood, University of Reading: "Aristophanes' Clouds: Staging Religious Debate".
March 2008: "Free as the Birds". Annual Classical Association Conference 2008, University of Liverpool:

Public Lectures/ News

April 6 2014: "Fantasy Creatures in Byzantine Iconoography". Mariakyrkan UGPS Talks for Umea Capital of Culture.
April 8 2014: "New Technological Approaches in the Display and Communication of Cultural, Heritage', National Museum Meeting Bildmuseet.

Recent grants received

- Riksbankens Jubileumsfond Initiation Grant in support of Digital Gender Symposium (2014), 70000 kr
- Strong Research Environment (UCGS) in support of Digital Gender (2014), 17500 kr
- Internal Research Fund (HUMlab) in support of Digital Gender (2014), 25000 kr
- Research Fellowship at the Swedish Institute in Rome (2014)
- Strong Research environment (UCGS) in support of  Workshop in Gender and Laughter (2014), 20000 kr


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