John H. Starks, Jr.

Associate Professor of Classics

Click here for John Starks' personal web site . . .

John Starks received his Ph.D. in Classics with Historical Emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 with a dissertation entitled 'Actresses in the Roman World.' His research interests include Greek and Roman theater history and performance, ethnicity of the 'other,' esp. Africa, in the classical Mediterranean world, Latin historiography, Greek and Latin biography, Latin oratory, and Latin epigraphy. He enjoys teaching all levels of the Latin language and courses in translation on various topics in ancient theater, social history, political and rhetorical thought, and gender and ethnicity.

Contact Information

Telephone: (607) 777-4524


Office:  LT 1116

Recent Publications

2013. "opera in bello, in otio, in negotio: Terence and Rome in the 160s BCE." In Antony Augoustakis & Ariana Traill, edd. Blackwell Companion to Terence, 132-155. Blackwell, Malden, MA/Oxford.

2011. "Was Black Beautiful in Vandal Africa?" In D. Orrells, G.K. Bhambra, T. Roynon, edd. African Athena: New Agendas, 239-257 (Classical Presences). Oxford UK.

Current Projects

Book: Actresses in the Greek and Roman Worlds: An Analytical Register, contract with Cambridge UK.

Article: "Lysioidia: 'Transgendering' Actresses/Actors in Hellenistic Greek & Roman Theater," IASH fellowship, Binghamton University, spring 2015.


  • Fellow, IASH, Binghamton University, 2015, 2012
  • CAAS Presidential Initiative Grant for "The Ghoul Next Door: A Musical Roman Comedy (Plautus' Mostellaria) and Comedy Scholars' Colloquium," 2012
  • New York Classical Club President's Grant for "The Ghoul Next Door," 2012
  • Blegen Research Fellow, Vassar College, 2010-11
  • Women's Classical Caucus, Best Article Award, "Pantomime Actresses in Latin Inscriptions," 2010

Recent Papers/Workshops Delivered, Invited and Refereed

  • Keynote Address: "vox feminae, vox populi: Demand for Actresses in the Roman World" Classical Association of Minnesota, 2014
  • Invited Lecture: "Lysioidia: 'Transgendering' Actors/Actresses in Hellenistic Greek & Roman Theater." University of Minnesota & Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter MN, 2014; Comparative Drama Conference, Baltimore 2013
  • Paper, with co-author, Prof. Mary Youssef: "Praksa, or Breaking Rule(s): Aristophanes, Tawfiq al-Hakim, and Egypt's First "Broadway" Musical Comedy," Middle East Studies Association, Washington DC; Classical Association of the Atlantic States, Washington DC; Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Fredericksburg VA, 2014
  • Keynote Address: "Make 'em Laugh: Plautus and Humor in the 'Original' Language and in Translation" Classical Association of Western New York, 2013
  • Invited Faculty Expert/Seminar-Workshop Leader: "Make 'em Laugh: Plautus and Humor in the 'Original' Language and in Translation," Project Advance Dual Enrollment Program for Secondary Instructors of Latin, Upstate Syracuse & Downstate New York City Institutes, Syracuse University, 2013
  • Paper: "Oedipus, King of Thebes (Egypt): Re-Orientations by Egyptian Arabic Playwrights." CAAS New York, 2012
  • Invited Faculty Expert/Workshop Leader: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Workshop: NEH Summer Institute Roman Comedy in Performance, Chapel Hill NC, 2012
  • Paper: "Acting Her Age: Beauty Image, Aging, and Ageism in the Reception of Actresses in the Roman World." Classics and Feminism VI (Quadrennial Conference) Brock University, St. Catharine's Ontario, 2012
  • Invited Lecture: "servitus, sudor, sitis: Syra/Syrus and Stereotyping of Syrian Slaves in Plautus' Comedies," Harry Guttman Memorial Lecture - Union College, Schenectady NY, 2012
  • Paper: "Curculio currens: Latin Comedy 'On the Run' in the Digital Age"APA Philadelphia 2012

Courses Taught

For Professor Starks' teaching, see also his personal web site>>>


  • Ph.D. 2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. Classics/Mathematics, Washington & Lee University, 1988

Last Updated: 3/12/15