A professor at Gallatin since 2002, Laura Slatkin is a distinguished classicist whose scholarly contributions to the intellectual life at Gallatin and to the understanding of the cultural poetics of the ancient Greek world are recognized by the newly created Gallatin Distinguished Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies. A philologist and literary theorist whose work focuses on the ancient world and spans 18th- to 21st-century intellectual engagements with the classics, Slatkin’s research engages with, and aims to contribute to, long histories of philology and theoretical approaches to oral tradition, as well as more recent strands of scholarship in French structuralist and poststructuralist thought, anthropology, gender studies, and political science.
Slatkin has sponsored original work in classical scholarship as editor of the journal Classical Philology and as co-editor, with Nicole Loraux and Gregory Nagy, of Histories of Post-War French Thought, Volume 2: Antiquities (New Press, 2001). More recently, as a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, Slatkin has fostered international conversations among classicists and helped model for scholars what rigorous interdisciplinary inquiry might look like. She has worked in classics research internationally, most recently as a Visiting Scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, on Global Research Initiative Fellowships at NYU London (2014) and NYU Florence (2015), in 2009, as a fellow at the Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy, and at Columbia University’s Institute for Scholars in Paris in 2007. She has also presented her work at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes (EHESS) in Paris.
Author of articles on Greek epic poetry and drama, Slatkin’s current book projects are Figure, Measure, and Social Order in Early Greek Poetry, and a second work that she is co-authoring with Maureen N. McLane, British Romantic Homer and Beyond, which examines emergent conceptions of Homer, comparative oral poetries, and ancient and modern oral cultures in 18th- and 19th-century Britain. Her published works include an influential monograph, The Power of Thetis: Allusion and Interpretation in The Iliad (University of California Press, 1992), which was released in 2011 in a second, expanded edition by Harvard University Press as The Power of Thetis and Selected Essays.
At NYU, she was honored with a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012. Prior to coming to Gallatin, she was on the faculty of Columbia University; the University of California, Santa Cruz; and University of Chicago, where she received the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She remains a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago’s John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought. Slatkin teaches classics courses through NYU’s Prison Education Program at Wallkill Correctional Facility and she also teaches regularly at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute that offers critical, community-based education in the humanities and social sciences.
Slatkin holds a BA in Classics and a PhD Classical Philology from Harvard University and an MA in Classics from Cambridge University.