Professor of Comparative Literature
Office: LT 1511
Zoja Pavlovskis-Petit is Professor of Comparative Literature and Classics. She has been teaching at Binghamton University (formerly Harpur College) since 1962. Her publications include: Man in an Artificial Landscape: The Marvels of Civilization in Imperial Roman Literature (Brill, Leiden 1973), The Story of Apollonius the King of Tyre (Lawrence, Kansas 1978), The Praise of Folly: Structure and Irony (Brill, Leiden 1983), and numerous articles that have appeared in Classical Philology, Classica et Medievalia, Classical Journal, Classical World, Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers, A Companion to Satire (Blackwell), and other journals and reference works.
Her current research concentrates on writing a monograph tentatively titled Poetry as Spiritual Refuge: Creative Memory in Late Latin Literature, another book on bilingualism as the main source of Nabokov's ironies, and several other projects. She is also working on a translation of the German version of Zenta Maurina's autobiographic trilogy. Her poetry has been published in periodicals such as the new renaissance, Modern Haiku, Cicada (a Best of Issue award), and others. Her research is increasingly taking a semiotic approach.
In undergraduate teaching she centers on three areas: classical mythology; a course on fairy tale study, which she developed and introduced at a time when this discipline was virtually unknown at American departments dealing with literature; and a sequence of three courses dealing with psychological, philosophic, and socio-historical significance of love stories, from classical Greece to, and into, the 20th century. Her seminar-type graduate courses deal with: irony; metaphor; myth criticism; ancient literary criticism; and comedy. In addition to serving the university, she has recently begun to offer as a volunteer courses at the local Lyceum, an organization of older people eager to learn, and in this context has given classes on Jungian interpretation of fairy tales, William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience, Ovid's love stories, and films based on myth.