2020–2022 Postdoctoral Fellow, Classics
PhD in History, Princeton University
Christian Flow received his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 2019. His work takes the study of ancient languages as a problem for the history of knowledge. Concretely, he is interested in examining the practices, instruments, and institutions that scholars of Latin and Greek—often identified with the larger pursuit known as “philology”—have drawn upon to generate and maintain new conclusions about very old texts. He is further concerned with how “philological” modes of investigation are intertwined with those of scholars and scientists in other arenas.
His book project examines the changing regimes of “observation” professed and practiced by philologists from the sixteenth through the late nineteenth century—a story that emerges from the histories of three attempts to generate a comprehensive lexicon of Latinity. The work has been generously supported by the DAAD, and a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Other interests include Latin composition, the notion of the “Bureau,” the history of universities, and the development of classical education. In this connection, he is currently researching the history of philological instruction in the German university of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, in its many guises from the lecture to the famed seminar, directed research to group-study. Recent writing includes an essay on “professors” in Information: A Historical Companion, and a talk on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Thesaurus linguae Latinae, available as a podcast. Christian will begin in 2022 as an Assistant Professor in History at Mississippi State University, with a joint appointment in the Shackouls Honors College.