Personal profile

Research overview

Xiyuan is a second year DPhil candidate from the School of Classics. Before moving to Scotland, she received her BA degree from Peking University (2015-2020) where she read Arabic and subsequently Classics. She received her MLitt degree from the University of St Andrews (with distinction, 2020-2021) and later spent a year working at the Bodleian KB Chen China Centre Library, University of Oxford.

Xiyuan's DPhil thesis investigates the interdiscursivity between the literary representation of golden-age(s) and the narrative of moral decline in Latin poetry, with a temporal range from the late Republic to the Neronian age. This thesis intends to cast new light onto how Latin authors present critical reflections on their own times through different mythic, literary, and philosophical traditions. A key contribution this thesis ambitions to make is to scrutinise how ancient authors' criticism upon their contemporary political/moral value system backs up the cultural nostalgia which can be widely attested across different works. Alongside her main interest in Latin poetry, Xiyuan is also interested in translation and classical reception in modern and contemporary China.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Letters, Classics, University of St Andrews

Sept 2020Sept 2021

Award Date: 1 Dec 2021

Bachelor of Arts, World History and Classics, Peking University

Sept 2015Jul 2020

Award Date: 1 Jul 2020

Erasmus+ Undergraduate Exchange Programme, University of Edinburgh

Jan 2019May 2019

External positions

Library Assistant, Bodleian Library

18 Oct 202130 Sept 2022


  • PA Classical philology
  • Latin Poetry
  • Classical Reception Studies
  • Catullus
  • Lucretius
  • Vergil
  • Early panegyrics
  • Greek tragedy
  • Euripides
  • Golden age
  • Moral and political decline
  • PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
  • Chinese
  • translational research


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