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Professor of Classics
Office: 4056
Telephone: 805-893-3551

On sabbatical Fall 2015


Helen Morales is a classicist and cultural critic with a wide range of in the ancient world. These include the ancient novel, mythology, literary criticism, art and text, sexual ethics, diversity, and pilgrimage. These interests are always connected to major contemporary concerns – leadership, class, race, feminism, aesthetics, law – a better understanding of which, in her view, comes through appreciating their investment in Classics. Helen received her PhD from the University of Cambridge and previously taught at the University of Reading, Arizona State University, and the University of Cambridge (2001-8), where she was also a Fellow of Newnham College. In 1998-9 she was a Fellow at the Centre for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC. She has done consultancy work for the Royal National Theatre, reviews books for a wide range of journals including the Times Literary Supplement, and has appeared on several BBC radio programs. She gave the 2011 Gail A. Burnett Lecture at San Diego State University, and gave a couple of public lectures at the Getty Villa in Spring 2012 on their new Aphrodite exhibition. In 2012 she was appointed to the Argyropoulos Chair of Hellenic Studies.

Graduate Supervision
She welcomes enquiries from graduate students interested in any area of ancient Greek literature; recent PhD thesis topics supervised include Nonnus and Oppian.

Major Publications

Pilgrimage to Dollywood (forthcoming, Spring 2014 Chicago University Press)

Petronius, Satyricon (edited with introduction and notes), Penguin Classics, 2011.

Greek Fiction (commissioned new translations, edited, with introduction and notes), Penguin Classics, 2011.

Gender Controversies (co-edited with Jude Browne) = a special section of Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory vol 17, n. 3, 2010.

Dying For Josephus (co-edited with Simon Goldhill) = a special issue of Ramus, 2008.

Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, 2007 (reissued with additional material as Classical Mythology in the Brief Insight series by Sterling Press, 2010).

Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius "Leucippe and Clitophon", Cambridge, 2004.

Intratextuality: Greek and Roman Textual Relations (co-edited with Alison Sharrock), Oxford, 2000.


Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature (co-editor, with A. J. Boyle) For her editorial Ramus: thirty-five years see vol 35. No.1 (2006). To go to the Ramus webpage, click here.

Selected Articles

‘Aristophanes’, Hysistrata, the Liberian "sex strike," and the politics of reception, in Greece and Rome, Oct. 2013.

‘Phryne and the psychology and ethics of ekphrasis’, in Cambridge Classical Journal, 2011.

"Challenging some orthodoxies: the politics of genre and the ancient Greek novel" in Grammatiki Karla ed. Fiction on the Fringe. Novelistic Writing in the Post-Classical Age. (Leiden/Boston, 2009), 1-12

"The History of Sexuality", in Tim Whitmarsh ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel (Cambridge, 2008), 39-55.

"Marrying Mesopotamia: Female Sexuality and Cultural Resistance in Iamblichus" Babylonian Tales" in Ramus vol 35 no. 1 (2006), 78-101.

"Metaphor, Gender, and the Ancient Greek Novel", in Stephen Harrison, Michael Paschalis and Stavros Frangoulidis eds. Metaphor and the Ancient Novel (Groningen, 2005), 1-22.

"Sense and Sententiousness in the Ancient Greek Novels" in Sharrock and Morales eds. Intratextuality (see above, Oxford, 2000), 67-88.

"Constructing Gender in Musaeus" Hero and Leander" in Richard Miles ed. Constructing Identities in Late Antiquity (London, 1999), 41-69.

"The Torturer"s Apprentice: Parrhasius and the Limits of Art", in Jas Elsner ed. Art and Text in the Roman World (Cambridge, 1996), 182-209.

"The Taming of the View: Natural Curiosities in Leukippe and Kleitophon", Groningen Colloquia on the Novel 6 (1995), 39-50.

Current Projects

Imperial Greek Epic Poetry; a literary and cultural history of incest in antiquity.