Overview of the Department and Faculty Research

In collaboration with scholars in departments and research centers throughout the university and the City of New York, the Department of Classics at Columbia University comprises one of the largest and most intellectually vibrant centers for the study of Classical Antiquity in the United States, and it offers an unparalleled range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Greek and Roman literature, languages, art, history, material culture, and philosophy.

Our faculty are committed to innovative scholarly projects, which reflect the shifting contours of Classical study in the twenty-first century. Beyond our traditional philological commitment, the Columbia and Barnard departmental profile shows strength and innovation in many forward-looking areas of study. The faculty’s core research foci include:

Greek poetry of the Archaic and Classical Periods, including Homer, lyric poetry, tragedy, and comedy (FoleyIrwinScharffenbergerSteinerWorman);

Classical Greek historiography, rhetoric and oratory, and philosophy (Folch, Irwin, Ma, Worman, Zetzel);

 Ancient performance theory and practice in Archaic and Classical Greece, as well as its modern reception in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Folch, Foley, ScharffenbergerSteinerWorman);

Ancient social history, with particular emphasis on Greek cultural identity in the Classical Period (Folch, Foley, Irwin, Worman); Hellenistic political culture (Ma, Martzavou); Roman social history (Howley, Milnor, Zetzel); history of the Jews in antiquity (Schwartz); and Egyptian cultural history (Morris);

Gender, Sexuality, and Women in Antiquity, with emphasis on representations of women in Greek epic and tragedy, gender in ancient philosophy, and the intersection of sexuality and Roman material culture (Folch, Foley, Milnor, Scharffenberger, Worman);

Latin literature of the Republican, Augustan, Imperial periods, particularly Cicero, Catullus, Virgil, Ovid, Manilius, Juvenal, and Aulus Gellius (Howley, Milnor, Volk, Williams, Zetzel);

Roman intellectual culture and philosophy, including ancient science, Roman law and political theory, and the evolution of a distinctively Latin (as opposed to Greco-Roman) intellectual culture between the first centuries BCE and CE (Howley, Milnor, Volk, Williams, Zetzel);

 Material culture of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, including Hellenistic epigraphy, Roman graffiti, and the relationship between visual and literary culture (Ma, Martzavou, Milnor, Morris, Steiner);

Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture, with emphasis on Greek and Latin hagiography and Medieval and Renaissance Latin (Baswell, Eden, Franklin, Williams);

History of scholarship, textual criticism, manuscript studies, and history of the book (Baswell, Franklin, Howley, Zetzel);

History of aesthetics, literary theory, and hermeneutics in Classical antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Renaissance (Eden, Folch, Franklin, Worman);

Classical reception in contemporary cinema, drama, literature, popular culture, and theater (Folch, Foley, Gourgouris, Hadjipolycarpou, Van DyckWorman);

Comparative literature and translation studies, especially in the context of Modern Greek literature, Hellenic studies, and the Greek diaspora (Van Dyck, Gourgouris, Hadjipolycarpou).

Few universities in the United States bring together such diverse and comprehensive resources for the study of Classical Antiquity. Students, alumni, prospective applicants, and visitors are invited to peruse individual faculty profiles in detail and to contact the department to arrange personal visits and meetings with the faculty.