James Ker

Professor of Classical Studies; Graduate Chair, Classical Studies

263 Claudia Cohen Hall
Office Hours: 
Fall 2023: MTWThF 12.30-1.30 (drop in, or email to sign up)


B.A. (Hons.) in Classics and Linguistics, University of Canterbury (1994)

M.A. in Greek, University of California, Berkeley (1996)

Ph.D. in Classics, University of California, Berkeley (2002)

In my teaching and research I am concerned with the cultural history of the Roman world, both in antiquity and in its reception. The two specific topics on which I've focused most continuously are Seneca (as author and cultural figure from antiquity to the present day) and Roman conceptions of time (including receptions in the modern "daily life" genre). I have ongoing projects on Seneca, Latin literature, and pedagogy in Greek and Latin. I have been privileged to collaborate with colleagues in recent volumes on Elizabethan Seneca, Valuing the Past, and The Values of Nighttime. I also edit a series for Johns Hopkins University Press entitled "Cultural Histories of the Ancient World".

Research Interests: 

Imperial Latin Literature, Roman Culture, Reception Studies, Language Pedagogy

Selected Publications: 

The Ordered Day: Quotidian Time and Forms of Life in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins, 2023)

The Values of Nighttime in Classical Antiquity: Between Dusk and Dawn, Penn-Leiden Colloquia on Ancient Values X, co-edited with Antje Wessels (Brill, 2020)

Valuing the Past in the Greco-Roman World, Penn-Leiden Colloquia on Ancient Values proceedings, co-edited with Christoph Pieper (Brill, 2014)

Elizabethan Seneca: Three Tragedies, co-edited with Jessica Winston, in Modern Humanities Research Association Tudor & Stuart Translations, vol. 8 (MHRA, 2012)

A Seneca Reader: Selections from Prose and Tragedy. Bolchazy Carducci Latin Readers series (Bolchazy-Carducci, 2011)

The Deaths of Seneca (Oxford, 2009)

Courses Taught: 

CLST 3805/5805 Classical Studies in Philadelphia Schools

LATN 3801/5801 Advanced Latin Language and Composition

CLST/LATN 7602 Worlds of the Roman Novel

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