Dr Alexandre Johnston

Academic Background

I went to school in Strasbourg, France, and studied for an MA (Honours) in Classics at Edinburgh and the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (2008-12) before returning to Edinburgh, first for an MSc by Research (2012-13), and then for a PhD (2013-17), funded by the Carnegie Trust. Before coming to Oxford, I spent two years at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (2017-19) as a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow. I have also held short-term research fellowships in Verona, Venice, and Jena.  

Research Interests

My research focuses on the literature and religion of archaic and classical Greece. I am especially interested in the relationship between humans and gods in poetry and drama, and in the significance of literature as a medium of religious and philosophical thought. My thesis, which I am now turning into a book, was on Sophocles’ tragedies and traditional Greek theology and ethics. I am also co-editing a volume on divine and human agency in ancient Greek thought, and beginning work on a new project entitled ‘Poetic Theologies: Literature, Religion, and Ethics in Archaic and Classical Greece’.

Research Keywords

Greek poetry (especially tragedy and lyric), Greek religion, intellectual history

  1. Review: Rediscovering E. R. Dodds: Scholarship, Education, Poetry, and the Paranormal, ed. C. Stray, C. B. R. Pelling & S. J. Harrison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2020.11.43.
  2. "Knowledge, Suffering and the Performance of Wisdom in Solon’s Elegy to the Muses and the Babylonian Poem of the Righteous Sufferer’, Cambridge Classical Journal 65 (2019), 63-83.
  3. Review: Textual Events: Performance and the Lyric in Early Greek Poetry, ed. F. Budelmann & T. Phillips (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), Classical Review 69.2 (2019).
  4.  "Poet of Hope: Elpis in Pindar", in Hope in Ancient Literature, History, and Art, ed. G. Kazantzidis & D. Spatharas (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018), 35-52.
  5. Antiquity and Enlightenment Culture: New Approaches and Perspectives (Metaforms: Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity 17), edited with Felicity Loughlin 2020 (Leiden: Brill).

Fortchoming Publication:

ReviewTragedy, Ritual and Money in Ancient Greece: Selected Essays, by R. Seaford (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), Journal of Hellenic Studies 140 (2021).