Associate Professor of Classics
D.Phil., 2005, Oxford University
Emily Baragwanath received her B.A. (1999) in Ancient History and English and M.A. (2001) in Ancient History from the University of Auckland
, New Zealand, before taking up a Rhodes Scholarship to Magdalen College
, University of Oxford, U.K. She gained her doctorate in Classics from Oxford (2005) and then continued work as a postdoctoral fellow at Christ Church
, Oxford, teaching and conducting research, before her arrival in Chapel Hill in summer 2007. She has since pursued her research at Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies
in Washington D.C. (2009-2010) and as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2013-14).
Her main area of scholarly interest is the literary techniques employed by Greek historians in their construction of historical narratives. Her book Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus
(Oxford University Press, 2008), winner of Oxford’s Conington Prize and the CAMWS
Award for Outstanding Publication 2010, explores the representation of human motivation in Herodotus’ Histories
. She is co-author of the Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics Herodotus entry
(launched in 2010). In other research she considers the Greek historians’ use of mythology as a mode of narrative and explanation alongside the historical mode, and the relationship between the historians and their poetic predecessors. Together with Mathieu de Bakker (University of Amsterdam) she has edited a volume on Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus
(Oxford University Press, 2012).
At present she is working on a book-length project on the fourth-century Athenian writer Xenophon, examining the historical factors and literary influences—of East and West—that inform his representation of women. With his eclecticism and cross-genre repertoire, Xenophon supplies a lens through which to examine some questions that especially interest her about the frontier between historiography, biography, and fiction.
Since arriving at Chapel Hill she has taught graduate courses on Herodotus and Thucydides, and undergraduate courses on Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, the Junior Seminar (an interdisciplinary exploration of Ancient Delphi as Greco-Roman topographical and cultural location), ‘Writing the Past’ (a First Year Seminar that starts out from the Greek historians in exploring the capacity for literature, cinema, and other modes of representation to convey history), Greek and Roman Historical Literature, Greek Tragedy, and The Greeks (a large lecture course on Ancient Greek civilization).