Mark Payne

Chair and Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) Chester D. Tripp Distinguished Service Professor in Comparative Literature, Classics, The Committee on Social Thought, and The College
Walker 309C
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2003
Research Interests: Poetry and poetics; animal/plant studies, and ecology more generally; primitivisim and speculative fiction

Within Greek and Roman literature, I have worked on lyric and didactic poetry, comedy, and Hellenistic poetry. More broadly, I am interested in animal and plant studies, primitivism ancient and modern, and, most recently, speculative fiction. I have published four books: Theocritus and the Invention of Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 2007); The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination (The University of Chicago Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism; Hontology: Depressive Anthropology and the Shame of Life (Zero Books, 2018); and Flowers of time: On post-apocalyptic fiction (Princeton University Press, 2020). I have also recently written a foreword to poet Stephanie Burt’s After Callimachus for the Lockert Poetry in Translation series. 

Forthcoming. “Alien historicity: Ancestral fictions in Heidegger, Derrida, and H. P. Lovecraft.” In Heidegger and the Classics, edited by Aaron Turner. Berlin: De Gruyter. 

2020. “Callimachus and Theon: A dialogue.” Vita: Harvard Magazine. July-August 2020: 36-37. With Stephanie Burt. 

2019. “Chorality.” In Asad Raza’s Root sequence. Mother tongue, edited by Olivia Fairweather. London: Koenig Books: 124-28. 

2019. “Shared life as chorality in Schiller, Hölderlin, and Hellenistic poetry.” In Antiquities Beyond Humanism, edited by Emanuela Bianchi, Sara Brill, and Brooke Holmes. Oxford: Oxford University Press:Classics in Theory series: 141-58. 

2018. “What’s an ark?” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception 7.1-2: 73-91. 

2018. “Poetry, vegetality, relief from being.” Environmental Philosophy 15.2: 255-74.