James Redfield

Biography and Interests: 

James Redfield has written Nature and Culture in the Iliad: The Tragedy of HectorThe Locrian Maidens: Love and Death in Greek Italy, and articles on Homer, Herodotus, Plato, and Greek society. His teaching is focused on Greek language, literature, and social history as they can be understood in the light of theory drawn from modern linguistics and anthropology. He received the Quantrell Teaching Award for 1965 and 1987.


Recent Publications: 


  • 1975 Nature and Culture in the Iliad: The Tragedy of Hector (The University of Chicago Press); translated as La Tragedie d'Hector: Nature et Culture dans l'Iliade (Flammarion, 1984; preface by J.-P. Vernant); also published in modern Greek and Spanish. Second, expanded edition, Duke University Press, 1994.
  • 1988 Translator of Phillippe Borgeaud, Recherches sur le dieu Pan published as The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece (The University of Chicago Press), with Kathleen Atlass.
  • 2003 The Locrian Maidens: Love and Death in Greek Italy (Princeton University Press, 2003).

Articles and Contributions to Edited Volumes

  • 1963-65 "A Lecture on Plato's Apology," The Journal of General Education, 1963; with a reply to a reply, "Socrates and Mr. Bosmajian," JGE, 1965.
  • 1963 "Comedy, Tragedy, and Politics in Aristophanes' Frogs," Chicago Review; also in German translation in Antaios, 1963.
  • 1964 Select Athenian Inscriptions, translated with introduction, notes, and vocabulary. University of Chicago syllabus (with Thomas Conley).
  • 1967 "The Making of the Odyssey," in Essays in Western Civilization, ed. Botstein and Carnovsky; reprinted in Parnassus Revisited, ed. A. Yu (1973).
  • 1968 "Ueber die Odysee," Antaios.
  • 1978 "The Women of Sparta," Classical Journal.
  • 1979 "The Proem of the Iliad: Plato's Art," Classical Philology.
  • 1979 "Foreword" to Gregory Nagy, The Best of the Achaeans, (Johns Hopkins University Press).
  • 1981 "Speech as a Personality Symbol: The Case of Achilles" (with Paul Friedrich), Language; with a reply to a reply, "Contra Messing" (with Paul Friedrich), Language, 1981.
  • 1981 "Reply to Vellacott," Carleton Miscellany.
  • 1982 "Notes on the Greek Wedding," Arethusa.
  • 1983 "The Economic Man," in Approaches to Homer, ed. Rubino and Schelmerdine (University of Texas Press).
  • 1983 "Louis Gernet" (review article), American Journal of Philology.
  • 1984 "Warfare and the Hero in the Classical World," Laetaberis.
  • 1985 "Herodotus the Tourist," Classical Philology.
  • 1985 "Le sentiment homerique du Moi," Le Genre Humain.
  • 1985 "An Aristotelian Analysis of Miss Moppet," Chicago Review.
  • 1986 "The Development of the Market in Archaic Greece," in The Market in History, ed. Anderson and Latham (London: Croom Helm).
  • 1986 "Paul Friedrich: Ethnographer as Poet and Poet as Ethnographer," Dialectical Anthropology.
  • 1987 "Commentary on Humphreys and Raaflaub," Arethusa.
  • 1990 "From Sex to Politics: The Rites of Artemis Triklaria and Dionysus Aisymnetes at Patras," in Before Sexuality, ed. Halperin, Winkler, and Zeitlin (Princeton).
  • 1990 "Drama and Community: Aristophanes and Some of His Rivals," in Nothing to Do With Dionysus, ed. Winkler and Zeitlin.
  • 1990 "J.-P. Vernant: Structure and History" (Review article), Journal of the History of Religions.
  • 1991 "Anthropology and the Classics," Arion.
  • 1991 "The Politics of Immortality," Recherches et Rencontres.
  • 1993 "The Sexes in Hesiod," in Reinterpreting the Classics, ed. Stray and Kaster = Annals of Scholarship vol. 10.1
  • 1994 "Homo Domesticus," in The Greeks, ed. J.-P. Vernant (University of Chicago Press); first published in Italian in Uomo Greco, 1991 (Laterza); also published in French, Spanish, and German, and Portugese.
  • 1994 "The End of the Republic: Plato's Myth of Er," forthcoming in the proceedings of the Cartigny conference on the Idea of the Person in Antiquity (1993).
  • Forthcoming: "Thucydides' Argument with the Facts," in Essays . . . Weintraub.
  • Forthcoming: "Plato's Apology of Socrates: A Vernacular Translation."

Publications on Education

  • 1965 "The Sense of Crisis," in New Views of the Nature of Man, ed. Platt (University of Chicago Press).
  • 1967 "Platonic Education," in The Knowledge Most Worth Having, ed. Booth (University of Chicago Press).
  • 1968 "Notes Arising from Herman Hesse's Magister Ludi," Agore.
  • 1968 "The College, the University, and the New Collegiate Division," Midway.
  • 1969 "The Teacher's Role in Liberal Eduation," Perspectives.
  • 1973 "Committee on Tradition and Innovation: Chairman's Report," The University of Chicago Record.
  • 1976 "Aristophanes' Clouds: Education between the Generations," The Journal of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.
  • 1976 "Scholarship as a Vocation," The University of Chicago Magazine.
  • 1982 "The Calling of Social Science," The Humanities Today: The Reynolds Lectures.
  • 1987 "The Politics of Language Instruction," in The Governance of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning, ed. Patrikis; republished in the ADFL Bulletin (1989).
  • 1988 "Notes of a Native Speaker," in Language and Liberal Education, ed. Patrikis.
  • 1988 "Protagoras Ph.D.," (with Herman Sinaiko) in Teaching Undergraduates, ed. Kimball.
  • 1988 "Invasive Procedures," "Mentoring," "The Price of Everything," and "Maintenance" (commencement addresses), The Universitv of Chicago Record.
  • 1990 "Dialogue on the Midway: Robert Hutchins and his University," Change.

Honors, Awards, Fellowships and Grants: 


  • 1965 & 1987: Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Research Grants

  • 1970-71 National Endowment for the Humanities Younger Scholars (Independent research in Italy and England)
  • 1980-81 American Council of Learned Societies (Independent research in Chicago, Greece, Italy and France)
  • 1986 Martha Sutton Weeks Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center
  • 1989 NEH Travel to Collections Grant: Reggio Calabria
  • 1990 & 1992 Topographical research for the Isthmia Excavations (Principal Investigator, Elizabeth Gebhard)


Most Recently Taught Courses

  • Accelerated Introduction to Greek
  • Herodotus
  • Homer
  • Plato
  • Sophocles
  • Undergraduate Program in Rome

Graduate Seminars and Workshops

  • Plato's Republic, with Herman Sinaiko;
  • Sophocles, with David Grene
  • Joyce's Ulysses, with Saul Bellow
  • Aristotle's De Anima, with Eugene Gendlin
  • Homeric Language, Homeric Culture, with Paul Friedrich
  • Comparative Poetics, with Edward Dimock, Anthony Yu, and Edwin Gerow
  • Philosophy of Discourse, with Ranlet Lincoln
  • Rhetoric, with James White
  • Early Colonies in the Western Mediterranean, with Lawrence Stager
  • Culture and History, with Marshall Sahlins
  • Greek Institutions, with Ira Mark
  • Archaic Archaelogy, with Elizabeth Gebhard
  • Joyce's Ulysses, with Wayne Booth
  • War and Peace and the Iliad, with Milton Ehre.


Committee on Social Thought, PAMW Affiliate