Emily Austin

Biography and Interests: 

Emily Austin

Title: Assistant Professor of Classics and the College
Education: Ph.D. Boston University 2016
Office: Franke Institute
E-mail: eaustin1@uchicago.edu
Areas of Specialization: Homer, especially characterization and emotions in the Iliad; Greek literature; Emotions in the Ancient World; Greek and Latin grammar; Ancient Philosophy; Classical Tradition

I write on emotions in Homer, focusing on unique features of the language of the poems and exploring how they shape the narrative. A related interest is the poems’ presentation of their characters, particularly in their relationships and ways of communicating. I am working on a book, entitled Grief and the Hero: the Futility of Longing in the Iliad, that explores the nexus of grief, longing and anger in the Iliad. In this work, I identify language in the Iliad unique to Achilles, linking his grief for Patroklos with a longing, ποθή. Starting from this verbal find, I give a narrative account for why such language describes the grief of Achilles for his companion, Patroklos, with its subsequent insatiable anger, and yet is absent from the grief of the Trojans for their champion Hektor. My other projects include work on grief and fulfillment in the Odyssey and the effectiveness of vengeance in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

Recent Publications: 


  • Grief and the Hero: The Futility of Longing in the Iliad. University of Michigan Press (forthcoming)


  • “The Other Iliad: Narrative Reversals and the Human Condition.” (under review).
  • “Achilles’ Desire for Lament: Variations on a Theme.” Classical World (forthcoming).
  • “Grief as ποθή: Understanding the Anger of Achilles.” 2015. New England Classical Journal 42.3: 147–163.


  • Reverse Similes and Iliad 15-17
  • Greek Prose Composition
  • Menander
  • Intermediate Greek: Homer’s Iliad, Sophocles’ Philoctetes
  • Intermediate Latin: Ovid’s Heroides, Vergil’s Aeneid
  • Poetry and the Human
  • Greece and Rome: Texts, Traditions, Transformations