Brooke Holmes

  • Princeton University
  • Department of Classics
  • Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics

Brooke Holmes is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics, and Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in the Humanities at Princeton University.  She is the author of The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece (Princeton, 2010) and Gender: Antiquity and its Legacy (Oxford, 2012), three co-edited volumes—Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome, and the Gods (Brill, 2008); Dynamic Reading: Studies in the Reception of Epicureanism (Oxford, 2012); and The Frontiers of Ancient Science: Essays in Honor of Heinrich von Staden (de Gruyter, 2015)—and the multi-authored, experimental book-exhibition Liquid Antiquity (DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, 2017), as well as numerous articles on Greek literature, the history of medicine and the body, and ancient philosophy.  She is currently at work on a book project on the concept of sympathy (sympatheia) in Greek philosophy, natural history, and medicine and a short book on “the relation” for the book series “classicisms” that she co-edits with Mark Payne at the University of Chicago Press.

Her research explores the Greco-Roman roots of Western ideas about the physical body, the natural world, matter, and the non-human.  She also studies the long afterlife of these ideas, especially in modern and postmodern thought.  Working at the intersections of literature, the history of science and medicine, the history of philosophy, and critical theory, she seeks to understand how materialist, scientific, and anti-humanist modes of inquiry inform concepts of subjectivity, community, and the cosmos in antiquity and how these concepts bear on the present.  Her areas of specialization encompass ancient medicine and life science, Greek tragedy, ancient philosophy, especially ethics and materialism, reception studies, and contemporary philosophy and literary theory.