Joshua Billings
Joshua Billings
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Classics
Assistant Professor of Classics
Greek Literature and Language
Intellectual History
Reception Studies


164 East Pyne Building
Office Hours: 
10:00 am
12:00 pm
and by appointment

Selected Publications

W. W. Norton & Company, 2018
Oxford University Press, 2015
Oxford University Press, 2014

Joshua Billings


I studied Classics, German, and Comparative Literature at Harvard and Oxford. Before coming to Princeton in 2015, I held a research fellowship at Cambridge, and taught at Yale for three years.

My research focuses on ancient Greek literature and philosophy and modern intellectual history, with a particular concentration on tragedy. After a first book on modern conceptions of tragedy and the tragic (Genealogy of the Tragic: Greek Tragedy and German Philosophy, Princeton 2014), I am now working on a study of fifth-century (BCE) drama and intellectual culture provisionally entitled The Stage of Thinking: The Philosophical Poetics of Ancient Greek Drama. In the book, I read drama as intellectual history, using discursive or scenic forms as a bridge between different works and genres to recover philosophical conversation before the institution of philosophy as a discipline. In addition, I am currently co-editing the Cambridge Companion to the Sophists (with Christopher Moore) and working on articles about Euripides’ Bacchae and Nietzsche’s philology.

I teach courses in Greek language and literature, classical reception, as well as in modern intellectual history and critical theory. I am happy to hear from students with interests in these areas. I believe that a university’s educational mission extends beyond its student body and immediate surroundings, and teach regularly through the Prison Teaching Initiative.


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