Amit Shilo

Assistant Professor
HSSB 4051
Office Hours:
W/F 10-11am


Amit Shilo’s research is on mixtures of politics, philosophy, and religion in ancient Greek tragedy, Plato, the Hebrew Bible, and the modern world. He received his Ph.D. in Classics from NYU (2012) where he also worked as a Language Lecturer (2012-13). He joined UCSB from Harvard, where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center (2013-14).

His first book, Beyond Death in the Oresteia: Poetics, Ethics, and Politics, is under review at Cambridge University Press. In part, it argues that the Oresteia provides one of the earliest examples in Western thought of afterlife judgment as an ethical counterpoint to nationalistic collective violence.

In the longer term he is widening his theoretical  engagement with 20th century political-theological theories and political philosophy. His article on the afterlife in Greek tragedy and Plato has appeared in ThéoRèmes.

Amit’s historical perspective and teaching has benefited greatly from a year studying Ancient Greek material culture, art history, and excavation as the Phillip Lockhart Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (2007-08).

Amit co-founded Classics and Social Justice (C-SJ) along with Nancy Rabinowitz. It has now become an SCS affiliated group with meetings across the US and in Europe. He has co-chaired C-SJ panels and meetings at several SCS annual conventions, including the 3 part panel “Classics and Civic Activism” in Washington DC (2020). He continually seeks to connect humanities with self-critical, positive social change.

Due to a strong interest in digital humanities, Amit has participated in several Greek and Latin translation and natural language processing projects.

Amit sincerely welcomes inquiries from current and incoming students at any level interested in the above or similar topics.


Articles and Reviews

  • “From Oblivion to Judgment: Afterlives, Ethics, and Unbeliefs in Greek Tragedy and Plato” ThéoRèmes, 2013
  • “The Ghost of Clytemnestra in the Eumenides: Ethical Claims Beyond Human Limits” American Journal of Philology, 2018
  • Review: “The Mortal Voice in the Tragedies of Aeschylus” Forthcoming, Dec. 2018, Classical World

Talks and Panels

  • Co-Organizer and co-chair, “Classics and Civic Activism” AIA/SCS workshop, 2020
  • Co-Organizer and co-chair, “Classics and Social Justice” SCS panel, 2018
  • Co-Organizer and respondent, “Violence and the Political in Greek Epic and Tragedy” SCS referee-organized panel, 2017
  • Co-Chair, “Classics and Social Justice” SCS round-table, 2017
  • “Competing Divine Justices: Polytheism and Political Violence in Greek Tragedy” Divine (In)Justice in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Conference, University of Sheffield, UK, 2016
  • “The Laws of Hades Against the Laws of Athena: The Afterlife and Political Dissent in the Oresteia” Newman University, UK, 2016
  • “Plato and Kafka: The Dialectics of Withdrawn Revelation” American Comparative Literature Association, 2016
  • “Unanimous Gods, Unanimous Athens? Voting and Divinities in the Oresteia” Society for Classical Studies, 2016
  • “The Philosopher’s Sting: Thinking Beasts in Plato and Kafka” UCSB Metamorphosis Conference, 2015
  • “Tricky Spirits: Violence and Deception in Homeric Ghost Stories” UCSB 2014
  • “Cassandra on the Banks of the Acheron: Visualizing the Afterlife as Resistance in the Oresteia” Fédération internationale des associations d’études classiques, 2014
  • “Unanimous Gods, Unanimous Athens: Thinking Political Theologies with the Oresteia” Harvard’s Classical Receptions Seminar, 2014
  • “Clytemnestra’s Ghost: Image and Afterlife in the Oresteia” American Philological Association, 2013
  • “The Tablet-Writing Mind of Hades: A Third Model of Justice in the Eumenides” Classical Association of the Middle West and South Annual Meeting, 2012
  • “The Afterlife and Moral Decisions in the Oresteia” American Philological Association, 2011