Emily Greenwood appointed John M. Musser Professor of Classics
Emily Greenwood, the newly named John M. Musser Professor of Classics, is a scholar of ancient Greek prose literature and the reuse of ancient Greek and Roman classics in modernity. Her appointment was effective Oct. 1, 2020.
Greenwood is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, in the Department of Classics, with a secondary appointment in the Department of African American Studies. She was previously chair of the Department of Classics and chair of the FAS Faculty Senate. She is currently director of graduate studies in Classics.
Her research interests include ancient Greek historiography, Greek prose literature of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, 20th-century classical receptions, and the theory and practice of translating the “classics” of Greek and Roman literature. She is one of a small number of scholars who have opened up the study of Black classicisms — responses to and uses of ancient Greek and Roman classics in different Black traditions. Her second book, “Afro-Greeks: Dialogues Between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century,” published in 2010, was joint winner of the Runciman award. “Afro-Greeks” analyzed a dynamic tradition, traced back to 1889, in which poets, novelist, politicians, and teachers in the Anglophone Caribbean have used adaptations of Greek and Roman classics both as a way of writing back to empire and as an inventive tradition of Caribbean self-making. She is currently working on a third book entitled “Black Classicisms and the Expansion of the Classical Tradition,” which weaves a dialogue between classics and Black studies. This book project analyzes the transnational and transhistorical phenomenon of black classicisms and challenges chauvinistic, raced conceptions of an exclusive Greek and Roman classical tradition.
Greenwood’s other books include “Thucydides and the Shaping of History” (2006), and two co-edited volumes: “Reading Herodotus: A Study of the Logoi in Book 5 of Herodotus’ Histories” (2007), and “Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon” (2007).
She studied classics at Cambridge University, where she gained her B.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees. After finishing her Ph.D. she was a research fellow at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (2000–2002) before joining the Department of Classics at the University of St. Andrews, where she was lecturer in Greek from 2002 to 2008. She joined the Classics department at Yale in July 2009.