I received my bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard and an M. Phil. degree from the University of Cambridge, where I was a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow. From 2011-2013, I was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford. My research and teaching focus on ancient rhetoric and poetics, Greek literature of all periods, and Classical Athens.
My book, The Rhetoric of Seeing in Attic Forensic Oratory, was published by the University of Texas Press in February 2017. It examines the performative effects of the language of sight in speeches from Athenian trials of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. The texts of these speeches are all that survive of dynamic performances that sought to persuade jurors through voice, words, gestures, and appearance. My research shows how litigants’ words work together with their physical appearance, how litigants plant images in their jurors’ minds, and how litigants bring their speeches to life by referring to people in the courtroom.
Although my primary area of interest continues to be Greek rhetoric and oratory, I have recently also been working on archaic and post-Classical Greek poetry, especially Sappho and Gregory of Nazianzus.
I have taught Greek and Latin at all levels to undergraduates and graduate students, as well as courses on ancient rhetoric and Greek and Roman culture. I have directed or am directing M.A. theses on Homer, Herodotus, and the Hippocratics and M.A. teaching projects on the Catilinarian conspiracy and Petronius.
The Rhetoric of Seeing in Attic Forensic Oratory. Austin: University of Texas Press. 2017
“Charaxus Arrived with a Full Ship! The Poetics of Welcome in Sappho’s Brothers Song and the Charaxus Song Cycle.” Forthcoming in Classical Antiquity
“The Theatre of Oratory.” Review of The Theatre of Justice: Aspects of Performance in Greco-Roman Oratory and Rhetoric, edited by S. Papaioannou, A. Serafim, and B. da Vela. Classical Review (2018) 68: 34-37
“Facing the Challenges of Reconstructing Ancient Buildings.” Response to “Situating Deliberative Rhetoric in Ancient Greece: The Bouleutêrion as a Venue for Oratorical Performance,” by C. L. Johnstone and R. J. Graff. Advances in the History of Rhetoric (2018) 21: 89-96
“Enargeia, Persuasion, and the Vividness Effect in Attic Forensic Oratory.” Advances in the History of Rhetoric (2017) 20: 225-251
“New Evidence for Hexametric Incantations in Attic Curse Tablets.” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik (2017) 201: 41-46
“The Rhetoric of Visibility and Invisibility in Antiphon 5, On the Murder of Herodes.” Classical Quarterly (2016) 66: 46-58
“Showing, Knowing, and the Existence of Tekhnai in Hippocrates, On the Art.” Classical Philology (2015) 110: 215-226
“Hyperides and Epopteia: A New Fragment of the Defense of Phryne.” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies (2013) 53: 90-116
Entries on “Agamemnon,” “games-Greek,” “Isocrates,” “Menelaus,” “Orestes” and “Triptolemus.” In The Virgil Encyclopedia, edited by R. F. Thomas and J. M. Ziolkowski. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 2013
Peter O’Connell’s book, The Rhetoric of Seeing in Attic Forensic Oratory, was published in 2017.