Mark Payne

Director of Graduate Studies, Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and The College
Classics 24
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 three 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; and Hontology: Depressive Anthropology and the Shame of Life (Zero Books, 2018). My current book project explores the relationship between freedom and the return of the past in ancient and modern post-apocalyptic fiction. I am also working with poet Stephanie Burt on a new edition of Callimachus for the Lockert Poetry in Translation series.


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. “Poetry, vegetality, relief from being.” Environmental Philosophy 15.2. DOI: 10.5840/envirophil20184965

2018. “Fidelity and farewell: Pindar’s ethics as textual events.” In Textual Events, edited by Felix Budelmann and Tom Phillips. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 257-74.

2017. “What’s an ark?” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception 7.1: 1-19.

2017. “Centaur.” In liquid antiquity, edited by Brooke Holmes. Athens: DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art: 120-23.