Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer

Biography and Interests: 

Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer

Title: Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Classics and the Program in Gender Studies
Education: B.A. Princeton, Ph.D. UC Berkeley
Office: Classics 26
Areas of Specialization: Neronian literature; Seneca the Younger; History of Classical Rhetoric; the Ancient Novel; the Classics in Modern China

My research focuses on two areas.  The first is the literature and philosophy of the Neronian period.   I have published on the four major authors of the mid-first century (Lucan, Seneca, Persius and Petronius) and remain particularly invested in questions of authorial personae, ethical stances, and elite and marginalized voices.  In addition, I am interested in the meeting-point of poetic and philosophical genres.  My most recent work has been on the governing metaphors of Persius’ satires, and on his manipulation of quasi-Rabelaisian alimentary, digestive, and sexual images to convey philosophical content matter. 

The second area in which I work is the reception of the Western classical corpus in modern China.  As members of the very culture which the Greco-Roman canon helped to create, most of us are more embedded in our Western heritage than we realize.  This inevitably affects our interpretation of these texts.  But what would it be like if we came to Plato, Vergil, Augustine as complete strangers?  The opening up of China and the interest of its scholars in the Western literary, philosophical and political tradition offers us a unique chance to sketch out potential answers to that question.


Recent Books:

  • Persius:  A Study in Food, Philosophy, and the Figural.  Forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.  2015. 
  • Cambridge Companion to Seneca, ed. with A. Schiesaro.  Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.   2015.
  • The Mirror of the Self:  Sexuality, Self-Knowledge, and the Gaze in the Early Roman Empire.  The University of Chicago Press.  2006.

Recent Articles:

  • “The Ancient Greeks in Modern China:  Interpretation and Metamorphosis,” in The Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia:  Texts & Artefacts, Institutions & Practices, ed. A-B. Renger.  Forthcoming from Brill.  2015.
  • “The Senecan Self,” in The Cambridge Companion to Seneca, ed. S. Bartsch and A. Schiesaro.  Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. 2015.
  • “Roman Rhetoric and Stoic Philosophy,” in the Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, ed. M. MacDonald. Oxford University Press. 2013.
  • “Persius’ Socrates and the Failure of Pedagogy,” in The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry, ed. D. Konstan and M. Garani, 303-16. Cambridge University Press.  2014.
  • “Persius, Juvenal, and Stoicism,” in The Cambridge Companion to Persius and Juvenal, ed. S. Braund and J. Osgood.  Cambridge University Press. 2012.
  • “Classical Poetics,” in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (4th ed.), ed. R. Greene. Princeton University Press.  2012.


  • Intermediate Latin
  • The History of Rhetoric
  • Roman Comedy
  • Greek Thought and Literature
  • The Roman Novel
  • Virgil