Page title

Peter Kelly

Main page content


I am a native of Galway in the west of Ireland and I received my PhD in Classics from the University of Galway where I subsequently became a lecturer. I joined the Princeton Classics department in September 2022. I have also held positions in the Classics department at the University of Oregon and the Honors College at Oregon State.

My research to date has explored the impact of Greek philosophy on Latin literature. My recently completed monograph, Ovid’s Platonic Forms (under review with Cambridge University Press), examines the impact of Plato’s philosophy on Latin poetry, especially that of Ovid. I have also published a number of articles and chapters on this topic, including in Classical Quarterly (2021). I am interested in concepts of selfhood in the ancient world, especially at the intersection of these discourses.       

I am currently working on a collected volume on the topic of ekphrasis (the literary description of a work of art), which is bringing into conversation academic experts on the ancient and modern use of ekphrasis and leading contemporary poets who use this device in their work. This work stems from a conference held jointly between Galway and Durham Universities in June 2022. This project is one of the ways I am exploring ways of realigning academic and creative work, as a practicing poet.

I have taught courses on Greek and Latin literature, as well as their reception in visual art and 20th century European theatre, as well as on the history of science. In Princeton I teach courses that further question the relationship between the ancient and modern and the status of the Classics more generally. I also enjoy using game-based pedagogies such as Reacting to the Past.