Emily Austin

Associate Professor of Classics and the College
Wieboldt 125
Ph.D., Boston University, 2016
Research Interests: Homer, especially characterization and emotions in the Iliad; Greek literature; Emotions in the Ancient World; Greek and Latin grammar; Classical Tradition

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.

Recent Publications

  • “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.

Research Interests

- Homer, especially characterization and emotions in the Iliad 

- Greek literature

- Emotions in the ancient world

- Conceptions of solitude

- Greek and Latin grammar

- Classical Tradition