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Ava Shirazi

Ava Shirazi

PhD - Language and Literature
Joint B.A. in Classics and English, with High Distinction, University of Toronto
School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University (Summer 2012)

Upon receiving my PhD in 2017, I accepted a three-year position as a Perkins-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows.  I have now taken up a position as an Assistant Professor in Haverford College's Department of Classics.

I work on Greek literature, philosophy, and material culture, with special interests in topics of aesthetics, sense perception, and the correlation between objects and concepts in cultural experience. These issues motivated my dissertation, The Mirror and the Senses: reflection and perception in classical Greek thought. Unlike glass mirrors today, which embody and signify accuracy in the creation of images, Greek mirrors were made of bronze. My project looks at how this particular reflective medium shaped a user's visual experience and how this experience informed discourses on sense perception and image production in the classical period. In the future I plan to expand my research to include issues of perception within the verbal and visual arts of the Hellenstic and Imperial periods, as well. Other projects include studies on visuality in both classical and post-classical prose, as well as materiality and affect in Greek tragedy.

At Stanford, I have taught a wide array of courses ranging from Greek language, philosophy, aesthetics, and self-fashioning, to mythology, ancient athletics, and freshman writing. I have also been a leading member of "Stanford Classics in Theater (SCIT)," where I have co-translated and directed modern adaptations of Greek and Roman comedies in an effort to promote the importance and relevance of Classics in the wider community. 

I am always looking for inspiration in literature and theory outside of Classics, as well as in the visual and dramatic arts.