Sheila Murnaghan

Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor of Greek
Department Chair and Faculty Co-director, Post-baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies

(215) 898-7425
Cohen 261
Office Hours: 
by appointment


Ph.D. (Classics) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A. (Classics) University of Cambridge
A.B. (Classics) Harvard University

Research Interests: 

Greek Literature, especially epic, tragedy, and historiography
Gender in classical culture
Classical reception

Selected Publications: 

Euripides' Medea: a Norton Critical Edition (2018)

Childhood and the Classics: Britain and America, 1850-1965 (2018), with Deborah H. Roberts

Hip Sublime: Beat Writers and the Classical Tradition (2018), co-editor with Ralph M. Rosen

Odyssean Identities in Modern Cultures: The Journey Home (2014), co-editor with Hunter Gardner

Women and Slaves in Greco-Roman Culture: Differential Equations (2000), co-editor with Sandra Joshel

Introductions to new translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey by Stanley Lombardo (1997, 2000)

Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey (1987, 2nd edition 2011)

“The Arms of Achilles: Tradition and Mythmaking in Sophocles’ Philoctetes,” in Arum Park, ed., Resemblance, Reality, and Tradition in Greek Thought,  New York: Routledge, 2016: 116-29

“Men into Pigs: Circe’s Transformations in Versions of the Odyssey for Children,” in Lisa Maurice, ed. The Reception of Ancient Greece and Rome in Children's Literature: Heroes and Eagles, Leiden: Brill, 2015: 195-212

“The Misadventure of Staying Home: Thwarted Nostos in De Chirico and Rebecca West,” in Hunter Gardner and Sheila Murnaghan, eds., Odyssean Identities in Modern Cultures: The Journey Home, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2014: 112-132

“The Creation of Anachronism: Assessing Ancient Valor in Sophocles’ Ajax,” in James Ker and Christoph Pieper edd., Valuing the Past in the Greco-Roman World: Proceedings from the Penn-Leiden Colloquia on Ancient Values VII, Leiden: Brill, 2014: 199-218

“The Choral Plot of Euripides' Helen,” in Renaud Gagné and Marianne Govers Hopman, eds. Choral Mediations in Greek Drama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013: 155-177

“The Nostalgia of the Male Tragic Chorus,” in Joshua Billings, Felix Budelmann, and Fiona Macintosh, eds., Choruses, Ancient and Modern, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013: 173-188

“Classics for Cool Kids: Popular and Unpopular Versions of Antiquity for Children,” CW 104 (2011) 339-353

Work in Progress:

an edition with commentary of Sophocles' Ajax, for the "Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics" ("Green & Yellow") series

Norton Critical Editions of Sophocles' Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus

a book on Sophocles for the Bloomsbury series "Classical Literature and Society"

Courses Taught: 

(undergraduate) Percy Jackson and Friends, Sex and Gender in Ancient Greek Society, The Odyssey and its Afterlife, The Iliad and its Afterlife, Periclean Athens, Classical Traditions, Sophocles, Herodotus

(graduate) Aeschylus' Oresteia, Reading the Iliad, Herodotus, Dionysus and Greek Drama, Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns, Choral Lyric, Sophocles, Troy and Homer

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