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Jeremy Lefkowitz

Associate Professor

On leave Fall 2020-Spring 2021


  2. Phone: (610) 328-7894
  3. Trotter 111

Jeremy B. Lefkowitz is Associate Professor of Classics at Swarthmore College and the Faculty Advisor for Off Campus Study.  He holds a BA in Greek and Latin from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an MA in Classics from Washington University in St. Louis; and a PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is also a Rome Prize Fellow of the American Academy in Rome (FAAR '16).

Professor Lefkowitz teaches courses that draw upon his broad interests in Greek and Latin language, literature, and culture, including topics in myth, epic, drama, intellectual history, and the reception of the classical past in the contemporary world.  Recent courses include "Classical Mythology" and "The Birth of Comedy"; honors seminars on Ovid, Virgil, Roman Comedy, Ancient Drama in Performance, and Homer; Elementary Greek and Latin; and Intermediate language courses on Homer, Seneca, Catullus, and Roman rhetoric.  He has also supervised directed readings on Aristophanes and on the history of Classics as a discipline.  Outside of the classroom Jeremy is approaching intermediate status as a student of Sanskrit and is busy working with Swarthmore students in outreach efforts teaching Latin to children and adults in a number of local schools and community organizations.

"Swarthmore is a wonderful place to teach and study Classics. Classics is in many ways a kind of microcosm of liberal arts education.  Studying the ancient world involves drawing on knowledge and methods from every branch of the humanities and social sciences, and from many of the natural sciences, too.  This makes Classics one of the most dynamic, interdisciplinary fields in the humanities.  But, as a microcosm of the liberal arts, Classics also faces many of the same challenges that confront institutions like Swarthmore, including addressing historical and persistent shortcomings in diversity and inclusion.  Over the past decade the department at Swarthmore has been seeking ways to open up the field of Classics, to transform what has often been viewed as an exclusive, staid, and elitist area of study into a more inclusive, diverse, and dynamic one.  It is an incredibly exciting time to study the ancient world.  But this work has only just begun.  My hope is that the next decade will see an even more radical evolution of Classics both on campus and beyond, as we not only continue to broaden the boundaries and parameters of what and how we study, but also as we seek ways to make our field more responsive to and representative of the diverse society of which it forms such a vital part.  Classics has always been about philology (love of words) and the unearthing and re-animating of buried, silenced worlds.  Greek and Latin are profoundly beautiful and rich languages, but enlightened voices in our field – including many of our past and current students – are calling on us to extend our love of words to include more ancient languages and to widen our vision to include the lost and buried histories of more societies and cultures of the ancient world.  Most importantly, we urgently need to work toward a future when everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexuality, and nationality, feels that they have something to gain from and contribute to the study of the ancient world." 

Professor Lefkowitz is engaged in several research projects involving the ancient fable tradition and is planning future work on Aristophanic comedy.  Some recent and forthcoming publications related to ancient fable include:

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Listening to Aesop's Animals" (forthcoming in Animals, eds. P. Adamson and F. Edwards, in the series Oxford Philosophical Concepts, to be published by Oxford University Press)

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Innovation and Artistry in Phaedrus' Morals" (forthcoming in Mnemosyne)

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Reading the Aesopic Corpus: Slavery, Freedom, and Story-telling in the Life of Aesop," in Slaves and Masters in the Ancient Novel. Ancient Narrative Supplementum, eds. M. Paschalis and S. Panayotakis  (Groningen, forthcoming)

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Grand Allusions: Vergil in Phaedrus," American Journal of Philology 137 (2016) 487-509

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Aesop and Animal Fables," in The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life, ed. G. Campbell (Oxford, 2014) 1-23

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Phaedrus, the fabulist," in The Literary Encyclopedia (2013)

Lefkowitz, J. B. Review of L. Kurke, Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose, in Phoenix 66.1-2 (2012) 178-181

Lefkowitz, J. B. Review of L. Gibbs, Aesop's Fables in Latin: Ancient Wit and Wisdom from the Animal Kingdom, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2009) 12.24

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Ugliness and Value in the Life of Aesop," in Kakos: Badness in Classical Antiquity, eds. R. M. Rosen and I. Sluiter (Leiden, 2008) 59-82

Essays and reviews on other topics:

Lefkowitz, J. B. "Studi classici e il precario raggiungimento della loro rilevenza," in Classics Scholars Between Theory and Practice, eds. G. Pezzini and S. Rebeggiani (Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa-Roma,  2012) 163-172

Lefkowitz, J. B. Review of N. Holzberg, Aristophanes: Sex und Spott und Politik, in Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 (2012) 188-189

Lefkowitz, J. B. Review of A. Carandini, Rome: Day One, for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2012) 03.39

Lefkowitz, J. B. Review of C. Corbel, Le Bestiaire d'Aristophane, in The Classical Review 63.1 (2013) 39-41

Lefkowitz, J. B. Review of K. Sidwell, Aristophanes the Democrat: The Politics of Satirical Comedy During the Peloponnesian War, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2010) 10.62