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Ashley Mehra

Ashley Mehra

Faculty of Classics, MPhil Candidate


Ashley engages with both fieldwork on modern refugee spaces in Athens, Greece and historical and literary research on refugee-citizen relations in the socio-political context of ancient antiquity. She plans to continue to engage in fieldwork alongside classical scholarship in order to continue to synthesize theory and praxis, and to give as much weight to considerations of the present as those of the past.

Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia in 2018 with highest distinction in Classics and high honors in the Politics Honors program. Her political science research, which was distinguished with a Stevenson Award for best senior thesis, will be published in 2019 in an edited collection following a conference on shelter and displacement, hosted by the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre; the book chapter is titled ““Re-Dignifying” Refugees: A Critical Study of Citizen-Run Spaces in Athens, Greece.”

Ashley’s Classics thesis, titled “Oedipus at Colonus: A Story of Refugee Identity, Space and Meditating Relationships,” was awarded the Anne Marye Owen Prize and will be utilized for the production of the Greek Play on “Oedipus at Colonus” to be staged at the University of Cambridge in Michaelmas 2019. She has been chosen to be dramaturg for the play.

Ashley is currently pursuing a MPhil in the Faculty of Classics as a Buckley Scholar at King’s College, University of Cambridge. She intends to continue doctoral work at the intersection of Classics and political thought on dignity as conceived in relational contexts.

Research Interests

  • Exile, displacement, asylum, and refugee-citizen relations
  • Spatial realization of identity in the ancient world
  • Notion of civic identity
  • Discourses of hospitality and dignity in theory and praxis