Sarah Derbew received her PhD in Classics from Yale University and was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. At Stanford, she is affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
Her research focuses on the literary and artistic representations of black people in ancient Greece. The genres she investigates include ancient Greek tragedy, historiography, satire, and the novel. She also examines artistic renderings of black people in Greek antiquity, focusing on both the objects themselves and the museums in which they are displayed. Her interests extend to the twenty-first century; she has written about the reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in Africa and the African diaspora. She warmly welcomes students interested in any of these topics to her courses and to the Classics department.
She recently finished her first book, titled Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2022), in which she used critical race theory and performance theory to untangle ancient formulations of blackness. She is currently researching the intersections between Greek and African antiquity, focusing on northeast Africa. Furthermore, she is currently co-editing the forthcoming volume Classics and Race: A Historical Reader with Dr. Daniel Orrells and Dr. Phiroze Vasunia.