Anna Conser

Graduate Student
Hamilton 617B
Office Hours: Friday 12 p.m.–1 p.m., and by appointment


  • Paradox and philosophical wonder in Greek and Roman poetry
  • Greek aesthetics (especially Aristotle’s Poetics)
  • Ancient music and performance

Anna received her B.A. in Classical Languages and Literature from Carleton College (summa cum laude, 2007). Inspired by her thesis on the Moral Ambiguity of Ships and Travel in Aeneid VIII, she spent several years traveling and working around the world, including a year of Arabic language study in Damascus and a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Erfurt, where she worked on ancient geography and cosmography.

Since she arrived at Columbia in 2012, Anna’s research has focused on the role of parodox and philosophical wonder in poetic authors, including Lucretius, Manilius, and Heraclitus, especially in conjunction with the aesthetic principles found in Aristotle’s Poetics. She has also presented on topics including the use of persona in Semonides Fr. 7 (SCS 2015), and has developed her expertise in ancient music at the international MOISA Seminar (Italy 2014). As a teaching Fellow at Columbia, she has taught Elementary Latin (2014-5) and is currently teaching Intermediate Greek (Xenophon and Plato). She is also head instructor for the Paideia Institute program Living Greek in Greece, where she has developed curriculum to guide students through ancient texts using spoken Attic.

In her spare time, Anna works with the Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group, which presents modern stagings of ancient drama in the original Greek and Latin. In 2014, she co-directed Aeschylus’ Choephoroi, working closely with a composer to create new music for the original Greek lyrics. In spring 2016, she will direct Sophocles’ Trachiniae.  Anna is also a founding member of Seattle-based Bow & Lyre Productions, for which she co-directed the short film “Maureen” (2012, 30 min).