Dr Alexandre Johnston
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.
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’.
Greek poetry (especially tragedy and lyric), Greek religion, intellectual history
- 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.
- "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.
- 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).
- "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.
- Antiquity and Enlightenment Culture: New Approaches and Perspectives (Metaforms: Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity 17), edited with Felicity Loughlin 2020 (Leiden: Brill).
Review: Tragedy, Ritual and Money in Ancient Greece: Selected Essays, by R. Seaford (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), Journal of Hellenic Studies 140 (2021).