I am currently a Lecturer in Discipline in the Classics Department at the University of Columbia for academic year 2017–18. I have previously taught at the Universities of Arkansas and Missouri, and I was a Margo Tytus Visiting Scholar at the University of Cincinnati in Spring 2017.
In broad terms, much of my work examines ways in which Roman poets' engagement with material drawn from the flexible mythological tradition, composed of competing and sometimes contradictory versions of myth, can illuminate their poetic purpose. Ovid and Valerius Flaccus are the two poets on whom I focus the majority of my attention; my current main projects are a monograph on Valerius entitled War of the World: Cosmos and Civil War in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica, which investigates themes of cosmos, meteorology, and civil war in the epic, and a series of studies reevaluating the poetics and literary nature of Ovid's Ibis.
My monograph explores, in particular, the fascinating cognate aspects of destabilization and strife that suffuse the text of the poem and resonate on a cosmic level; my primary focus is on revealing the ways that Valerius achieves this destabilization through what I propose is an engagement with contemporary philosophical and natural philosophical theories. The basic thrust of my argument is that, through a variety of subtextual, intertextual, and metaphorical strategies, Valerius draws on this eclectic mix of philosophical ideas to create a cosmos which is prone to dissolution and internal conflict, from its underpinnings to its superstructure, on multiple levels: the physical, the social, and the divine.
Please use the links at the left to find information about my research and teaching. If you have any questions or are interested in materials that I do not have online, please feel free to e-mail me at dk3009(at)columbia(dot)edu, replacing (at) with @ and (dot) with a period.
Click here if you're curious about my non-academic interests.