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James Kierstead

James Kierstead

Lecturer School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
Ph.D. Ancient History, Stanford
BA Classics, University of Oxford, 2006
MA Ancient History, University of London, 2007
MA Political Science, Stanford University, 2011
James specializes in Greek history (especially classical Athens) and in political philosophy (especially democratic theory). He is currently writing a dissertation under Josiah Ober on associations in the Athenian democracy. 
James was born in Canada and grew up mainly in the UK. He was educated at Oxford, where he studied classics and philosophy, and in London, where he focused on Greek history. At Stanford he has developed his secondary expertise in democratic theory while working towards the PhD in Classics. He has also completed short courses in epigraphy and archaeology at the German Archaeological Institute and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and has excavated in the Athenian Agora. Over the years he has won prizes for work on Aquinas and on Rousseau, and has given presentations at the Classical Association of Canada conference and at Stanford’s Ethics and Politics Ancient and Modern and Political Theory workshops.
Having gained some experience as an ESL teacher in Europe, James has served as TA for three courses in the department and has also taught his own course in Homeric Greek. In his spare time he works as a research assistant and as a translator.
Outside the classroom and the library, James has enjoyed directing, acting and translating for Stanford Classics in Theater (SCIT), and appearing in classical plays for Stanford Summer Theater, San Francisco Theater Pub, and Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco.

Following graduation, James accepted an offer from Victoria University of Wellington as a Lecturer in their Department of Classics in the School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies. His dissertation is titled "A Community of Communities: Associations and Democracy in Classical Athens" and was advised by Josh Ober, Andrea Nightingale, and Ian Morris.


July 2013
This dissertation examines the relationship between associations and democracy in Classical Athens. It seeks to test some of the main hypotheses of...