Athena Kirk

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Classical Studies


  • A.B. at Harvard College, 2003
  • M.A. at University of California, Berkeley 2005
  • Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley 2011

Research Interests

  • Greek Literature
  • Greek Cultural Poetics and Linguistics
  • Ancient Literacy

Contact Information

Ballantine Hall, Room 557


My research focuses on the intersections between literature and epigraphy and the material quality of ancient texts, as well as public interaction with them. I explore documents that seem to fluctuate between the traditional categories of ‘text’ and ‘object’ and ‘oral’ and ‘written’—performed  poetry, drama, and inscribed decrees, for example, all depend on the written medium yet could not exist solely within it. This tension, I think, reflects the questions linguists have recently posed about how to classify texts in the era of digital media, and how the adoption of new technology affects them.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Animals in the Greek Imagination
  • Rise of Literacy in Greece
  • Indo-European Languages and Scripts
  • Beginning Greek
  • Intermediate Greek (Plato)
  • Advanced Greek (Sophocles)

Publication Highlights

“Herodotus’ Semantics of Showcase.” Transactions of the American Philological Association 144.1 (forthcoming 2014)

“Inscriptions in Greek Thought” Petrovic et al., Materiality of Text (forthcoming)

Lucian, “Remarks Addressed to an Illiterate Book-Fancier” (translation). Gareth Long, Remarks
Addressed to an Illiterate Book-Fancier (Kate Werble Gallery, New York, 2012)

“Gypsies in Cambridge: The Librarian Speaks.Convolution 1 (2011)