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John H. Starks, Jr.

Associate Professor of Classics and Department Chair

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 508

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.


  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, State University of New York, 2015
  • Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), Binghamton University, 2015
  • Women's Classical Caucus, 2015 Barbara McManus Award for Best Published Article on Gender or Women's Studies in Antiquity, "Was Black Beautiful in Vandal Africa?", 2015
  • 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

  • Paper:  "Sharing Center Stage: 'Actresses' (In)Equity' in the Roman World," Classics and Feminism VII, University of Washington, 2016
  • Panelist: Respondent/Interlocutor on comic performance with panel "The Greeks at Red Bull Theater" with Olympia Dukakis, Ted Pappas and Jesse Berger, CAAS, Wilmington DE, 2015   
  • Paper:  "Comedy, Canon, Core: Plautus' Humor for All Students in Live Latin and Translated Productions," Classical Association of the Empire State (CAES), 2015
  • 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
  • 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

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: 8/2/16