Assistant Professor of Classics and Humanities
He begins teaching at Yale in fall 2012, following a year as Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge. His research focuses on tragedy, intellectual history, and the classical tradition.
His first book, A Genealogy of the Tragic: Greek tragedy and German philosophy around 1800, is under review. It traces thought on tragedy from eighteenth-century debates about the place of ancient literature in modernity through the philosophy of German Idealism. He is currently co-editing two volumes, both under contract with Oxford University Press: Choruses, Ancient and Modern (with Felix Budelmann and Fiona Macintosh) and Tragedy and the Idea of Modernity (with Miriam Leonard; for the Classical Presences series).
His next project will focus on Euripides' alphabetical plays, a group of works that — unlike the rest of extant Greek tragedies — seems to have survived by chance rather than by selection (they are so named because they appear to come from a volume of Euripides's works in alphabetical order). This makes them particularly important for questions of genre in ancient Greece, and an interesting place to explore how our understanding of literature has been shaped by a tradition of reading and commentary going back to antiquity.
Selected Recent Publications
- “Misreading the chorus: Nietzsche’s Geburt der Tragödie as methodological critique”, Nietzsche-Studien 38 (2009), 246-68
- “Hyperion’s symposium: an erotics of reception”, Classical Receptions Journal 2 (2010), 4-24
- “Epic and Tragic Music: the union of the arts in the eighteenth century”, Journal of the History of Ideas 72.1 (2011), 99-117.
- “Choral dialectics: Hölderlin and Hegel”, in Choral Mediations in Greek Drama, ed. R. Gagné and M. Hopman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
CLCV 108/HUMS 260
Deaths of Tragedy
Spring 2013, Th 3:30-5:20 Areas: HU
This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU)
Is tragedy dead? ‘Deaths of Tragedy’ considers the modernities of Greek tragedy through the dual lens of theory and adaptation. The course assumes no prior knowledge, and seeks to give students a thorough grounding in Greek tragedy and its place in the classical tradition. After two weeks of historical discussion, later texts will be paired with ancient Greek works (all in English translation) in a chronological progression. The theme ‘deaths of tragedy’ will open onto questions both of generic theory (does tragedy have a particular link to death?) and history (to what extent does tragedy ‘die’ in ancient Greece?).
Ultimately, the course will interrogate the concept of “the tragic” in antiquity and modernity.Readings will include a substantial selection of Greek tragedies, along with plays and adaptations by Aristophanes, Seneca, Racine, Goethe, Brecht, Anouilh, and Anne Carson, and theoretical texts of Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, Peter Szondi, and George Steiner.
The Phaedrus is one of Plato's most engaging and profound dialogues. We join Socrates and his young friend Phaedrus for a walk in the countryside, where they consider love, sex, madness, and persuasion in a discussion that has resonated deeply for later philosophers from Aristotle to Derrida. The course seeks both to develop the confidence to read Plato's beautiful prose as accurately and fluidly as possible, and to begin to grasp the philosophical implications of the dialogue.
As a "bridge" course, this course is designed both to allow incoming students with substantial preparation in Greek to fulfill their language requirement (L5) and to sharpen the skills and enhance the knowledge needed in the more advanced Greek courses.