Patrice Rankine

Professor in the Department of Classics and the College
Ph.D., Yale University, 1998
Research Interests: Race and its performance, through time; classical reception.

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 several significant administrative roles, including 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, 2024) 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 at Purdue University. He has also taken part in and 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 and theory.

Recent Publications


  • Theater and Crisis: Myth, Memory, and Racial Reckoning in America, 1964-2020. Lever Press, 2024.


  • “Images and the Discipline of Classics,” In Rethinking Classics, Ed. Paul Allen Miller;
  • “Affectionate Ties: The Discipline of the Classics and the College or University Mission,” in Diversity and the Study of Antiquity in Higher Education. 1st Edition. Daniel Libatique and Fiona McHardy, Eds., Routledge, 2023, pps. 9-24;
  • “Black[ened] Queer Classical: Cicero’s pro Archia poeta and Seneca’s Natural Questions (and Epistulae Morales 114) in Posthuman Perspective,” In The Routledge Handbook of Classics and Queer Theory, Routledge, 2023;
  • “Myth Formalism and Black Expression: The Case of Icarus,” In Radical Formalisms, Eds. Sarah Nooter and Mario Telò, Bloomsbury, 2024;
  • “Metaphor the Bittersweet: Anne Carson’s Mythmaking as Design,” In Anne Carson’s Euripides, Eds. Laura Jansen and Mario Telò, Bloomsbury 2024;
  • “Black Poetry and the Classics,” in Brill’s Companion to Classical Reception and Modern World Poetry, ed. Polina Tambakaki, 2023, pps. 113-140;