Jackie Murray

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  • Associate Professor
  • Classics, African American & Africana Studies, Gender & Women Studies
  • African American and Africana Studies
  • Classics
  • Folklore & Mythology
  • Modern & Classical Languages Literatures & Cultures
  • International Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies
1077 Patterson Office Tower
  • Other Affiliations:
Research Interests:

Courses Fall 2021:

  • CLA 551 / 651: Advanced Greek Poetry Seminar: A Survey of Hellenistic Poetry - MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm

This course is a survey of Hellenistic Poetry. Students will read poetry written between the 4th century BCE to the 1st century CE from all over the Mediterranean by poets of the Greek diaspora. In this period Greek was the lingua franca, so the poetry reflects the creative energies of diverse authors with multiple ethnic identities influencing and being influenced by one another and working in a wide range of genres. From the scholar poets of the royal courts to teenage girls composing in the “high genres” of epic and elegy, this was an age of increasing literacy and wider literary appreciation. Accordingly, these poets produced some of the most fascinating and innovative poetry in the Greek language. We will read selected epigrams from a variety of poets, some of the hymns, elegies and lyrics of Callimachus, the fragments of Ezechiel’s Exodus Tragedy, some of Theocritus’ pastorals and excerpts from Apollonius’ Argonautica, as well as poems that were curiosities, poems purporting to be written on gravestones and gemstones, poems for queens and poems for pets, cryptic and riddling poems, magical and scientific poems, hymns to gods, encomia to kings, shepherd songs, and heroic tales. The aesthetic of this era was profoundly influential, especially on the Roman poets, who translated (in some cases literally) the poetry of their Hellenistic predecessor into their own language and milieux. We will conclude by examining the influence of some of these Hellenistic poets on Catullus, Vergil, and Ovid. Prerequisite GRK 202 or with Instructor’s Permission

  • GRK 201 - Intermediate Greek: Plato & Lucian - 4.0 cr MTWR 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Review of grammatical principles together with readings from Greek prose. We will read selections from Plato’s dialogues and Lucian's prose. Emphasis is placed on developing reading ability. Prerequisite GRK 102 or equivalent.: 

International Collaborations:

With Anja Bettenworth of Cologne University: Black Classicisms Joint sessions funded by The Gaines Center, AAAS. CIBS & DAAD.

Selected Invited Lectures

University of Tennessee Routledge Memorial Lecture: Listening the Anti-Racist Voice in Antiquity

Harvard Pre-Modern Race Seminar: Listening to Anti-Racist Voices in Antiquity

University of British Columbia CNERS Seminar: The Quarrel: Apollonius and Callimachus and the Poetics of Controversy.

Swansea Classics Seminar: Poetically Erect - Authentic Female Voices in Callimachus Hymn to Demeter and Herodas Mimiambus 6

CUNY Graduate Center and New York Classics Club Lecture: Anchored in Time: The Date in Apollonius' Argonautica

14th Annual E. Adeleide Hahn Lecture at CUNY Hunter College: Racecraft in the Odyssey and Argonautica



Discussion with Rebecca Futo Kennedy on Teaching Race and Ethnicity in Antiquity hosted by Everyday Orientalism

Classics is a part of Black intellectual history – Howard needs to keep it (with Rebecca Futo Kennedy) for The Undefeated (June 4, 2021)

BBC Sounds: Detoxifying the Classics with host Katherine Harloe

Centre For Hellenic Studies - Reading Greek Tragedy Online
Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica Live Stream
Wednesday, April 28 at 3:00-4:30pm EDT: A live reading and discussion of the Argonautica (translation by Aaron Poochigian), hosted by Joel Christensen (Brandeis University) with guest speaker Jackie Murray (University of Kentucky). More information is coming soon about the featured actors.
Watch the live-stream on the Center for Hellenic Studies YouTube Channel.

Me reading the beginning of "Patois Iliad in the theatre of Aphrodisias"


Ph.D. Classics, University of Washington (2005); M.A. Classics, University of Western Ontario; B.A. (Summa cum Laude) Latin and Classical Studies, University of Guelph


Dr. Jackie Murray is Associate Professor of Classics in the Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department at the University of Kentucky. She is on the editorial board of Classical Philology, Religion Compass, and Brill’s Research Perspectives in Classical Poetry.

  • Greek and Latin poetry of the 3rd century BCE-2nd century CE

  • Ancient Astronomy and Archeoastronomy

  • Race, Racism, White Supremacy and the Classics

  • Blackness in Antiquity

  • Reception of Classics in African-American and Afro-Caribbean Literature

  • Hellenistic and Roman Intellectual networks

In her own words:

My primary research area is Hellenistic Poetry, its reception of Archaic and Classical Greek literature, its influence on Latin poetry and Imperial Greek literature, and on Latin and Imperial Literature. My publications have focused mainly, but not exclusively, on Apollonius’ Argonautica and Callimachus’ Hymn to Demeter. My secondary area is Race and the Classics and the reception of Classics in African American and Afro-Caribbean literature. I am drawn to complexity and to subjects that require a constellation of approaches and perspectives.
While it may appear that my two areas of interest are worlds apart, and admittedly, I was forced into my second area of interest by the racism I have experienced during my career, I have, nevertheless, found these two avenues of inquiry comparable, compatible, and mutually reinforcing. Both require a high degree of intellectual rigor. On the one hand, friends and colleagues who work on Classical Greek and Roman literature are constantly reminding me how off-putting the steep learning curve that Hellenistic poetry is for many. On the other hand, the relationships between Classics and Race Studies and racism is very fraught: the symbolic power of the discipline has been used and continues to be used as a vehicle to promote and reinforce white supremacist ideas about who can and should be an intellectual and who belongs in the academy. It is therefore crucial to pursue both, and in the order I have ranked them. This is not because I think the two focuses of study are unequal or simply because my ranking reflects the order I took them up. Rather, my research in Hellenistic Poetry, frankly, lends credibility to my work on Race and the Classics, as Classics itself and not just a sub-branch or an extraneous field of “Africana Classics”. Both Hellenistic Poetry and Race Studies require that I develop a broad range of perspectives and use different types of evidence to gain insight that I translate into knowledge. In general, my research pursues projects that open new horizons and encourage further dialogue and exploration among an ever-broadening community of scholars.

With respect to these interests I have developed courses that are cross-listed with the African and Africana Studies Department at the University of Kentucky: “Reception of Classics in African-American and Afro-Caribbean Literature”, “Classics and Black Theatre”, “Blacks and the Classics I: Antiquity to Emancipation”,  “Blacks and the Classics II: Classics and Segregation”, “Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Antiquity,” and "Gender, Sexuality & Racecraft in the Celluloid Classical World." The last course, I also teach cross-listed with Gender and Women’s Studies along with "Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome", “Wicked Women: Women in Power - Cleopatra and Wu Zetian,” “Amazons for Americans” and “Sex and the Ancient City.”

Languages Courses:

Undergraduate: GRK 101, 102, 201, 202

Undergraduate/Graduate: Prose composiiton; Greek Prose Fiction; Hellenistic Poetry; Homer; Greek Drama; Jewish Writers in Greek

Selected Publications: 
In print / press

2021 “Race and Sexuality: Racecraft in the Odyssey” in Denise McCoskey, ed., Bloomsbury Cultural History of Race Series. [in press]

2021 “Poetically Erect again: The female oriented dildo-humor in Herodas’ Mimiamb VI” Hellenistica Groningana 25 [in press]

2020 “Quarrelling with Callimachus: A Response to Annette Harder’s Aspects of the Interaction between Apollonius Rhodius and Callimachus”, Aevum Antiquum 19 (Callimaco e Apollonio) 77-106.

2019 "Poetically Erect: The female oriented humor in Callimachus’ Hymn to Demeter." Hellenistica Groningana 24: New Perspectives in Callimachean Scholarship (Leuven) 249-263. 

2019 “W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Quest of the Silver Fleece: The Education of Black  Medea.” TAPA 149.2 Supplement (Sesquicentennial Anniversary Issue 2019) 141-160.

2018 “Silencing Orpheus: The fiction of Performance in Apollonius’ Argonautica” in M.A. Harder e.o. (eds.) Hellenistica Groningana 23: Poetry and Performance (Leuven) 201-224.

Awards, Fellowships and Honors

2020 Fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies

2018 Visiting Scholar at the Center for Hellenic Studies

2017 Margo Tytus Fellowship for Visiting Scholars, University of Cincinnati 

2015-2016 Mary C. Bingham Faculty Fellowship, University of Kentucky

2011-2012 Andrew Heiskell/NEH Post-Doctoral Fellowship, American Academy in Rome 

2010 NEH Fellowship: Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship, UVA

2010 Mellon Faculty Seminar– Tang Museum

2006-2007 University of Venice Advanced Seminar in Ancient Mediterranean Literature

2006 NEH Fellowship: UCLA Summer Institute on Models of Ancient Rome

2004-2005 Simpson Center Society of Scholars, University of Washington

2004-2005 Alvord Dissertation Fellowship, University of Washington

2004 Jim Greenfield Dissertation Fellowship, University of Washington

2003-2004 Lead Teaching Associate, University of Washington

1999-2003 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship (SSHRCC)

1998-1999 Ontario Graduate Scholarship


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