Emily Austin writes on Homer, especially emotions, as well as literary depictions of solitude in ancient Greece. 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. This work begins with a verbal find—Achilles’ grief for Patroklos is uniquely described with the Greek word “longing” (ποθή)—and through this discovery, the book traces the relationship between grief and action, giving a narrative account for why Achilles’ anger is insatiable. Her current research projects include a second book, Solitude and its Powers in Ancient Greece (in progress), which identifies surprising moments when ancient Greek poetry conceives of solitude as a good thing. In addition, Austin has written articles on Homeric similes and their relation to the narrative; meaningful variation in Homeric formulae; and the power of inactivity in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and the Iliad.
- “The Other Iliad: Inversion and Likeness on the Battlefield.” 2022. Classical Journal 117.4: 375–402.
- 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 The Ethics of Revenge and the Meanings of the Odyssey by A. Loney (Oxford 2019). American Journal of Philology 143.3 (October 2022)
- “Grief as ποθή: Understanding the Anger of Achilles.” 2015. New England Classical Journal 42.3: 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