Patrice Rankine

Professor in the Department of Classics and the College
Ph.D., Yale University, 1998
Research Interests: Race and performance; Queer theory; “History from below”; Social history

Patrice Rankine, Professor in Classics, earned his BA in Ancient Greek magna cum laude from Brooklyn College, City University of New York City (CUNY), and his Ph.D. in classical languages and literatures from Yale University. In addition to his scholarship, he has served in a number of significant administrative roles, most recently as dean for the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Richmond. He is also a committed teacher who won an Excellence in Teaching Award in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University. He researches the Greco-Roman classics and their afterlife, particularly as they pertain to literature, theater, and the history and performance of race. He is author of Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title Ulysses in Black: Ralph Ellison, Classicism, and African American Literature (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006) and Aristotle and Black Drama: A Theater of Civil Disobedience (Baylor University Press, 2013), as well as coauthor of The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2015). His current book projects include Theater and Crisis: Myth, Memory, and Racial Reckoning, 1964–2020 (Lever Press) and Slavery and the Book (Harvard University Press), for which he has conducted research on slavery in Brazil and organized an international symposium, “Transhistorical and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Slavery,” as part of an Enhancing Research collaboration grant. He has also taken part in or conducted several NEH Summer Institutes and Seminars.

His ongoing writing includes contributions to Queer Euripides and the Critical Ancient World Studies project, and he will coedit a volume on race, racism, and the classics for Transactions of the American Philological Association. In addition to the reception of classics in current times, Rankine is interested in reading literature with the insights gained from various theoretical approaches, such as race and performance, queer theory, and “history from below,” or social history—a perspective that informs all of his scholarship.