Department of Greek & Latin

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Gender Equality Charter mark

Bronze award holder

Published: Sep 8, 2014 11:18:34 AM

The Department of Greek and Latin welcomes new students

We look forward to welcoming new students on Monday 22 September 2014. Please see our BA Induction Programme, our MA Induction Programme, and our PhD Induction Programme

Published: Sep 4, 2014 4:23:49 PM

UCL Classics #3 in the UK

In the 2014-15 Guardian Rankings

Published: Jun 4, 2013 10:23:34 AM

Miriam Leonard

Professor of Greek Literature and its Reception

Miriam small

On Research Leave in 2013-14.

Departmental Tutor Office Hour:  Monday 11-12 to be arranged in advance by e-mail (


Research interests: Greek literature and philosophy; reception; history of modern European thought; critical theory

IRIS research profile

After completing my PhD (Cambridge, 2002) I taught for six years in the Bristol Classics department. I joined the UCL department in September 2007. I have been a visiting scholar at Duke and Stanford and am currently the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

My research explores the intellectual history of classics in modern European thought from the eighteenth century to the present. I examine how an engagement with the classical past has given rise to a particular understanding of modernity. I am currently working on two projects: an exploration of the role of tragedy in the modern history of thought and a study of antiquity in the Enlightenment and French Revolution. 

I have taught a wide range of options in Latin and Greek language and literature as well as courses in Reception, Philosophy and Critical Theory.

Major Publications:

  • Tragic Modernities (under contract, Harvard University Press)
  • Tragedy and the Idea of Modernity; co-edited with Josh Billings (forthcoming, Oxford University Press)
  • Socrates and the Jews: Hellenism and Hebraism from Moses Mendelssohn to Sigmund Freud (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
  • Derrida and Antiquity; editor (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Classical Reception and the Political; edited with Yopie Prins (special issue of thejournal Cultural Critique, 2010)
  • How to Read Ancient Philosophy (Granta, 2008)
  • Laughing with Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought; co-edited with Vanda Zajko (Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Athens in Paris: Ancient Greece and the Political in Post-War French Thought (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Selected Articles and Chapters:

  • 'Freud and Tragedy: Oedipus and the Gender of the Universal', Classical Receptions Journal, 5.1 2013, 63-83
  • 'Tragedy and the Seductions of Philosophy', Cambridge Classical Journal, 2012, 145-164
  • ‘Prometheus and the Pentateuch: Feuerbach, Marx and the Genesis of Secular Anti-Semitism’, thesis eleven, 2010, 55-75
  • ‘Greeks, Jews and the Enlightenment: Moses Mendelssohn’s Socrates’, Cultural Critique, 2010
  • 'Derrida between "Greek" and "Jew"', in M.Leonard (ed.) Derrida and Antiquity (OUP, 2010), 135-158
  • 'Reception' in G. Boys-Stone, B.Graziosi and P. Vasunia (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, (OUP, 2009), 835-846
  • Oedipus in the Accusative: Derrida and Levinas’, Comparative Literature Studies, 2008, 224-251
  • ‘History and Theory: Moses and Monotheism and the Historiography of the Repressed’ in Lorna Hardwick and Christopher Stray (eds) A Companion to Classical Reception, (Blackwell, 2008), 207-218
  • ‘The Uses of Reception: Derrida and the Historical Imperative’ in Charles Martindale/Richard Thomas (eds) Classics and The Uses of Reception (Blackwell 2006), 116-126
  • ‘Tragic Will and the Subject of Politics’, Phoenix 2005, 133-42
  • ‘Antigone, the political and the ethics of psychoanalysis’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 2003, 130-154
  • ‘Politiques de l’amitié: Derrida’s Greeks and a National Politics of Classical Scholarship’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 2000, 45-78
  • ‘Creating a Dawn: Writing through Antiquity in the Works of Hélène Cixous’ in Arethusa 2000, 121-148
  • ‘Irigaray’s Cave: Feminist Theory and the Politics of French Classicism’, Ramus 1999, 152-168

Ongoing and Future Projects:

  • editor with Tim Whitmarsh of OUP series Classics in Theory
  • member of Postclassicisms Network
  • collaborative project on the theory of the tragic in modern thought
  • long-term collaborative project on Classics and the Enlightenment

Page last modified on 05 jun 14 23:10