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Neil Coffee
Assistant Professor of Classics
Neil Coffee

Neil Coffee
Research interests: Latin epic
Institutional affiliation: University at Buffalo
Departmental affiliation: Classics
Office location: 338 MFAC
URI: Profile
Membership status: Charter member
Digital projects: Tesserae Project

Neil Coffee


My interests include epic poetry, Roman imperial literature and culture, Hellenistic philosophy, classical tradition, classics and computing, and conversational Latin.

Digital interests

I am interested in using computing tools to aid literary analysis, particularly of classical texts. In the classical studies, existing computing tools allow the user to find definitions, conduct morphological analysis, retrieve word counts, and search for specific strings. The project I conducted in summer 2008 with J.-P. Koenig and Poornima Shakthi of the UB Linguistics Department, with funding from a DHIB summer grant, was originally titled "Classical Intertextual Scanning Software" but is now called the Tesserae Project. At the moment, it allows the user to find identical or similar phrases in two texts in any language using Roman type. This is the first step in a project that ultimately seeks to aid stylistic and reception analysis by providing maps of intertextual links within and among works in various languages. The tool will also allow linguists and philologists to explore the frequency and position of words.

I am a member of with the DHIB Textual Analysis Working Group, where I am continuing to collaborate with Prof. Koenig and others to improve the operation of Tesserae Project web tool, and consulting with others in the group on ways of creating and refining searches to aid literary analysis.

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