Egbert Bakker named the Alvan Talcott Professor of Classics
Egbert Bakker, newly named as the Alvan Talcott Professor of Classics, studies Ancient Greek literature from linguistic and anthropological angles and is interested in the various forms of literary communication in Archaic and Classical Greek literature.
Bakker has written on oral poetry, poetic performance, the linguistic articulation of narrative, and the differences between speaking and writing. He is the author or editor of several books, including “Linguistics and Formulas in Homer,” “Poetry in Speech: Orality and Homeric Discourse,” and “A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language.” His latest book is “The Meaning of Meat and the Structure of the Odyssey.” He is currently working on a commentary of Book Nine of the Odyssey for the series “Greek and Roman Classics” of Cambridge University Press (the “Green and Yellows”). The author of numerous articles and reviews for professional publications, Bakker serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Greek Linguistics.
The Yale professor teaches courses on Homer, rhetoric and philosophy, Hellenistic poetry, mythology, and Ancient Greek wisdom poetry, among others. His graduate seminars include “The Odyssey,” “The Language of Homer,” and “Epic, Epigram, and Elegy.” He has served as director of graduate studies in the Department of Classics on three occasions, and as a member of numerous departmental and university committees.
A native of the Netherlands, Bakker earned master’s degrees from the University of Amsterdam and from Leiden University, where he also completed his Ph.D. He held fellowships at the Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington, D.C.) and at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies. He taught at the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Virginia, Université de Montréal, and Leiden University before joining the Yale faculty in 2004 as professor of classics.
Bakker has lectured at conferences throughout the United States as well as in the Netherlands, Russia, Belgium, and Greece, among other countries. His honors include Directeur de recherche invité at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) and grants from the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation (Greece) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.