- Ancient Medicine
- Greek Language and Literature
I work at the intersections of Greek literature, science and medicine, and philosophy, with particular interests in the history of subjectivity and the body, materialism, tragedy, ethics, critical theory, and reception studies. I received a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton in 2002 and 2005, respectively. I also hold a D.E.A. in Études grecques from the Sorbonne (Paris-IV). I have taught since 2007 at Princeton, where I currently hold the Elias Boudinot Bicentennial Preceptorship. I have been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa, the Whiting Foundation, the Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Fondation Hardt.
My first book, The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece, was published in 2010 by Princeton University Press. Beginning with Homer, moving through the Hippocratic medical texts, and closing with studies of early ethical philosophy and Euripides, I examine how the physical body came into being as a “conceptual object” in the fifth century bce through medical interpretations of symptoms, transforming the meaning of suffering, the soul, and human nature. In 2008, a volume of essays that I co-edited with W. V. Harris was published by Brill on the second-century ce orator Aelius Aristides. A short book entitled Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy will be published in the series “Ancients and Moderns” (I. B. Tauris-Oxford University Press) in 2011, and a second edited volume (with W. H. Shearin) on the reception of Epicureanism will also appear in 2011 in the “Classical Presences” series at Oxford University Press. I have published on ancient medicine and the history of the body, in addition to articles on Homer, Euripides, Lucretius, Aelius Aristides, and Deleuze.
My current project is a study of the concept of physical sympathy in Hellenistic and Roman science, medicine, and philosophy, with a consideration of the pathetic fallacy in pastoral poetry. I argue that sympathy in this period takes shape as a way of conceptualizing communities between the human and the non-human world, laying the groundwork for an understanding of nature and our relationship to it that will persist for centuries in the West. I also continue to work on Greek tragedy, ancient medicine, and Epicureanism, with papers forthcoming or underway on Antigone in the Oedipus at Colonus, the concept of sympathy in Galen, and the origins of social life in Lucretius.
My teaching interests are primarily in Greek literature, medicine, and critical theory. I have developed courses at the undergraduate level on ancient Greco-Roman medicine, “extremists” in Greek literature and philosophy, and pastoral poetry from Theocritus to Gary Snyder. At the graduate level, I have taught the Survey of Greek Literature, and I am planning to teach a graduate seminar on the figure of Antigone and her reception in Spring 2012. I am actively involved in developing collaborative relationships between the graduate program in Greek literature at Princeton and other universities. I also currently serve as a member of the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Humanistic Studies at Princeton and as an affiliated faculty member of the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
1. The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece
2. Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome, and the Gods (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition)
3. Dynamic Reading: Studies in the Reception of Epicureanism
4. Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy (Ancients & Moderns)