Mark Payne

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.