Athena Kirk

Associate Professor


Professor Kirk received her PhD at University of California, Berkeley. She came to Cornell in 2014 after having held the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Indiana University. Her research focuses on the intersections between literature and epigraphy and the material quality of ancient texts, as well as public interaction with them. She explores 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.

Research Focus

  • Greek Literature
  • Greek Cultural Poetics 
  • Ancient Literacy
  • Ancient Animal Studies


"σήματα νίκης: Inscribed Objects in the Lindian Chronicle." Mètis (forthcoming 2018).

“What is an ΕΠΙΓΡΑΦΗ in Classical Greece?” Petrovic et al.,eds., The Materiality of Text (forthcoming 2018).

“ΛΟΓΟΣ and ΦΩΝΗ in Odyssey 10 and Plutarch’s Gryllus.” Orality and Literacy XI: Voice and Voices in the Ancient World, ed. Slater. (2017)

“Herodotus’s Semantics of Showcase.” TAPA 144.1 (2014)

“Orality and Literacy,” “Writing,” “Inscriptions,” and “Etymology.” Baron, ed., The Herodotus Encyclopedia (in progress)

Review: Minchin, ed. Orality, Literacy and Performance in the Ancient WorldBMCR 2013.03.31 

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).

In the news

CLASS Courses - Fall 2024

GREEK Courses - Fall 2024