Yujhán Claros

Graduate Student



  • Poetry (all)
  • Philosophy, theory (esp. literary, performance, sex & gender), and religion
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology (esp. of marriage, and the family) and anthropology
  • Economic and social histories

As were the Aeneadae, my family is composed of war refugees, but from El Salvador. I was born in Jersey City and grew up in Union City, on a hill from which I’ve always remembered the sight of the Hudson River straddling Midtown Manhattan and my native Hudson County.

I earned a classical diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy for studies in both Latin and Greek. I graduated cum laude in Classics from Princeton. For my senior thesis, I composed a stress-accented, English hexameter poem titled the ‘Martinid’ about the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. I worked at the Starbucks in the town of Princeton for three years while I attended the University. After college I taught Latin at a charter school in Red Hook, Brooklyn and then served as an immigration paralegal near Grand Central Station.

My dissertation will study gender in epic, a pluralistic, all-encompassing genre, which, first articulated in ritual practice, affirmed a normative gender binary. Hexameter was deployed variously in the Greek tradition, early ranging from the archaic oral heroic compositions, to Hesiodic theogonic/didactic and presocratic physiology. As early as Homer, Hesiod, and Parmenides gender has cosmic implications. Hellenistic and later Roman writers revived hexameter epic and in each iteration they treated gender with increasing complexity given the meter’s engrossing, devouring tendencies with respect to other literary genres, e.g., tragedy, philosophy. Developments in law, e.g., governing marriage, contribute further to the complexity of gender in Roman epic. My approaches are interdisciplinary.

Research interests aside from those listed above include meter, Indo-European poetics and comparative linguistics, Semitic languages and literatures, animal studies, incest, law, genealogy, history of Classics, deconstruction, and decolonization. I am also as emotionally invested in John Milton as I am in Virgil.