Friday, October 07, 2005

Holly Haynes

Holly Haynes

Assistant Professor of Classical Studies,
109 Bliss Hall, Ext. 2349,
The College of New Jersey

Holly Haynes previously taught at Dartmouth College and New York University. She took her PhD. in Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. Professor Haynes specializes in the politics and literature of the early Roman Empire, with a particular interest in historiography. Her current projects include pieces on memory and trauma in the post-Domitianic period and on Petronius? Satyricon. Her first book, The History of Make-Believe: Tacitus on Imperial Rome, was published by the University of California Press in 2003"

"A theoretically sophisticated and illuminating reading of Tacitus, especially the Histories, this work points to a new understanding of the logic of Roman rule during the early Empire.

Tacitus, in Holly Haynes' analysis, does not write about the reality of imperial politics and culture but about the imaginary picture that imperial society makes of these concrete conditions of existence--the "making up and believing" that figure in both the subjective shaping of reality and the objective interpretation of it. Haynes traces Tacitus's development of this fingere/credere dynamic both backward and forward from the crucial year A.D. 69. Using recent theories of ideology, especially within the Marxist and psychoanalytic traditions, she exposes the psychic logic lurking behind the actions and inaction of the protagonists of the Histories. Her work demonstrates how Tacitus offers penetrating insights into the conditions of historical knowledge and into the psychic logic of power and its vicissitudes, from Augustus through the Flavians.

By clarifying an explicit acknowledgment of the difficult relationship between res and verba, in the Histories, Haynes shows how Tacitus calls into question the possibility of objective knowing--how he may in fact be the first to allow readers to separate the objectively knowable from the objectively unknowable. Thus, Tacitus appears here as going further toward identifying the object of historical inquiry--and hence toward an "objective" rendering of history--than most historians before or since." - The University of California Press