Classical Literature • Archaic Greek Poetry • Oral Tradition and Performance
Hilary Mackie studied Classics at Cambridge University and at Princeton University. She serves as the Program Director for Classical Studies at Rice.
She is the author of two books, Talking Trojan: Speech and Community in the Iliad (1996) and Graceful Errors: Pindar and the Performance of Praise (2003). The first identifies the significant role that the oral performative styles of individual Trojan characters in the Iliad play in characterizing Trojan culture and its worldview in the context of the poem. The second explores ways in which the poet-narrator in Pindar’s epinician odes draws attention to his own performance and, thus, the challenges inherent in his task. Her current research projects concern the concept of the labyrinth in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the connections between Plato’s Timaeus and Hesiod’s Theogony.
Speech, performance, storytelling, and communication remain central to her interests as a scholar, and as a teacher too. In addition to teaching courses on ancient Greek language, classical myth, and related topics for the Classical Studies program, she contributes on a regular basis to Rice’s Program in Writing and Communication by offering writing intensive seminars for incoming freshmen.
Graceful Errors: Pindar and the Performance of Praise (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003).
Talking Trojan: Speech and Community in the Iliad (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1996).
“Storytelling,” in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.), The Homer Encyclopedia (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), III, 826-8.
“The Key to Epic Life? Classical Study in George Eliot’s Middlemarch,” Classical World 103 (2009), 53-67.