Emily Austin writes 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. Her first book, Grief and the Hero: the Futility of Longing in the Iliad, explores the nexus of grief, longing and anger in the Iliad. In this work, she identifies language in the Iliad unique to Achilles, linking his grief for Patroklos with a longing, ποθή. Starting from this verbal find, she gives 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. Her other projects include work on grief and fulfillment in the Odyssey, the effectiveness of vengeance in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, and ancient conceptions of loneliness and solitude.
- Grief and the Hero: the Futility of Longing in the Iliad. 2021. University of Michigan Press.
- “Achilles’ Desire for Lament: Variations on a Theme.” 2020. Classical World 114.1: 1-23.
- Review of Metaphor in Homer: Time, Speech, and Thought by Andreas Thomas Zanker (Cambridge 2019). BMCR 2020.08.18.
- Review of Para-Narratives in the “Odyssey”: Stories in the Frame by M. Alden (Oxford 2017). Classical Philology 114.4 (October 2019).
- “Grief as ποθή: Understanding the Anger of Achilles,” New England Classical Journal 42.3 (2015): 147-163.
- Homer, especially characterization and emotions in the Iliad
- Greek literature
- Emotions in the ancient world
- Conceptions of solitude
- Greek and Latin grammar
- Classical Tradition