Brooke A. Holmes

Curriculum Vitae

My research interests lie in the history and philosophy of concepts, with a particular interest in the behavior of concepts about the physical body, nature, and life in ancient Greek and Roman textual sources and the problems these concepts create for attempts to theorize the subject and forms of ethical and political agency.  I am equally interested in the long and tangled reception of these concepts and problems, especially in twentieth and twenty-first century continental philosophy.  My work, especially under the auspices of the Postclassicisms network, has increasingly been addressed to the ways in which reception communities conceptualize their relationship to the Greco-Roman past, with an interest in producing and imagining new forms of relation between that past and the present.  My areas of specialization encompass ancient Greek medicine and life science, ancient philosophy, Greek literature—especially Homer and tragedy—Lucretius, reception studies, literary theory, medical humanities and bioethics, environmental humanities, gender and sexuality studies, and twentieth-century French philosophy. 

I was trained in the United States and Europe as a comparatist and a classicist.  I hold a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. I also hold a D.E.A. in Études grecques from the Sorbonne (Paris-IV).  I have taught since 2007 at Princeton in the Department of Classics, and I was the Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in the Humanities from 2015-2018.  I remain very active on the IHUM Executive Committee, and I also serve on the Executive Committee of the Gauss Seminars in Criticism. I am an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Comparative Literature, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the University Center for Human Values, and I am an associated faculty member of the Program in the History of Science and the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies.

I have been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa, the Whiting Foundation, the Center for Human Values at Princeton, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fondation Hardt, and I currently hold fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.  From 2014-2017, I held a three-year Mellon New Directions Fellowship to support coursework in the history of science and bioethics at the University of Chicago and NYU, and I have attended the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Ethics Committee as a visitor.

My first book, The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece, was published in 2010 by Princeton University Press. My second book, Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy, a study of how the field of gender studies has been shaped through engagements with Greco-Roman antiquity, appeared in the series “Ancients and Moderns” (I. B. Tauris-Oxford University Press) in 2012.  I have also published three co-edited volumes: Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome, and the Gods (Leiden: Brill, 2008); Dynamic Reading: Studies in the Reception of Epicureanism (Classical Presences) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); The Frontiers of Ancient Science: Essays in Honor of Heinrich von Staden (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015).  A fourth co-edited volume, Antiquities beyond Humanism (Classics in Theory) (Oxford: Oxford University Press) will appear in Spring 2019.  In 2017, the project "Liquid Antiquity," which I developed and directed with the support of the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, appeared as a co-edited book and video installation, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and exhibited at the Benaki Museum in Athens before traveling to London in Spring 2018.  The multi-authored book Postclassicisms, the result of a five-year collaboration with the Postclassicisms Collective, will appear next year from the University of Chicago Press.  My articles and essays have appeared in Classical Antiquity, DaedalusTransactions of the American Philological Association, Isis, American Journal of Philology, Ramus, b2, Apeiron, Harvard Design Magazine, e-flux, and Cabinet as well as in a number of edited volumes.  I have also published criticism on postwar and contemporary art.

I am currently at work on a study of the concept of sympathy in Hellenistic and Roman science, medicine, philosophy, and poetry, entitled The Tissue of the World: Sympathy and the Nature of Nature in Greco-Roman Antiquity.