Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer

Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Classics Director Emerita, The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
Classics 26
Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Research Interests: Higher education and integrated research; the formation of knowledge; Roman imperial literature, philosophy, and culture; the classics in modern China

Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer was Director of the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge from 2015-24. At IFK, faculty came from opposite ends of campus to share their research and supersede disciplinary boundaries.  IFK supported 8 innovative postdoctoral position; ran an MA track; taught undergraduates; published a journal; and distributed research grants for discipline-spanning research.

Bartsch-Zimmer’s current research is on the mutual influence of the sciences and humanities in human history. She has published works on ancient Rome, on rhetoric and philosophy, and on the reception of the western classical tradition in contemporary China. Her book Persius: A Study in Food, Philosophy, and the Figural, won the 2016 Goodwin Award of Merit, and her translation of Vergil’s Aeneid was one of the Guardian’s notable books of the year. She has also edited or co-edited 7 wide-ranging essay collections (two of them Cambridge Companions) and the “Seneca in Translation” series from the University of Chicago. Bartsch has been a Guggenheim fellow, edits the journal KNOW, and has held visiting scholar positions in St. Andrews, Taipei, and Rome. She is at work on two manuscripts:  the first, Ten Tales from the Graveyard of Science: How Ancient Theories shaped the Modern World, co-authored with Scott Montgomery (recent author of The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Built the Modern World); the second, Mutuality: The Meeting of Humanities and Science.

Recent Publications

  • Plato Goes to China: The Greek Classics and Chinese Nationalism. Princeton University Press.  2023.
  • The Rationality Wars:  The Ancient Greeks and the Counter-Enlightenment in Contemporary China. Forthcoming in a special issue of History and Theory.
  • The Aeneid.  A New Translation.  Random House. 2020.
  • “We Damn Your Memory,” on the destruction of historical statues, in Encyclopedia Britannica special issue with Madeleine Albright, Paul Krugman, Shirin Ebadi, et al. 2018.
  • Cambridge Companion to the Age of Nero, ed. with K. Freudenburg and C. Littlewood. Cambridge University Press. 2017.
  • Persius: A Study in Food, Philosophy, and the Figural. University of Chicago Press. 2015. (Winner of the 2016 Goodwin Award of Merit)
  • “The Metamorphosis of an Ass.” Review essay of Peter Singer, ed., and Ellen Finkelpearl, trans., Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. AJP 143. 2022.