Mark Payne

Professor in the Department of Classics, the Committee on Social Thought, and the College.

The University of Chicago
Department of Classics, The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, and The College
1115 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

773 702-2516

My publications to date have been on the poetry of ancient Greece and modern Europe. I have written on pastoral poetry as a decisive moment in the history of fiction and the conceptual style of ancient and modern lyric poetry. My most recent book explores poetic thinking about animals. It received the 2011 Warren-Brooks award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. I am now working on Greek ideas of nature and their legacy.


  • Ph.D. Classics, Columbia University, 2003
  • M.A. Romanticism and Modernism, Southampton University, 1990
  • B.A. English Language and Literature, Magdalen College, Oxford, 1989

Selected Publications

  • Forthcoming. “The natural world in Greek literature and philosophy.” In Oxford Handbooks Online in Classical Studies, edited by Gareth Williams. Oxford.
  • Forthcoming. “The one absolute didactic poem, and its opposite: Schelling on ancient didactic poetry and the scienticity of contemporary lyric.” Classical Receptions.
  • 2013. “The understanding ear: Synaesthesia, paraesthesia, and talking animals.” In The Other Senses: Antiquity Beyond the Visual Paradigm, edited by Shane Butler and Alex Purves. Durham, UK: 43-52.
  • 2013. “Aristotle on Poets as Parents and the Hellenistic Poet as Mother.” In Classical Myth and Psychoanalysis: Ancient and Modern Stories of the Self, edited by Ellen O’Gorman and Vanda Zajko: 299-313. Oxford.
  • 2010. The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination. The University of Chicago Press.