Hilary Mackie

WEBSITE(S)| Classical Studies


  • PhD, Princeton University


Research and Teaching

  • Classical Literature
  • Archaic Greek Poetry
  • Oral Tradition and Performance


Recent Courses

  • CLAS 237 Aristotle’s Poetics
  • CLAS 235 Classical Mythology
  • CLAS 124 Classical Antiquity in Children’s Literature
  • FWIS 156 Speech and Communication in Homer


Speech, performance, storytelling, and communication stands the center of Hilary Mackie’s work both as a scholar and as a teacher. In addition to 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.

Mackie is the author of two highly praised books. Graceful Errors (2003) focuses on the oral context of Pindar’s odes, and on the dynamic relationship between poet and audience, while Talking Trojan (1996) is a detailed sociolinguistic analysis of the difference in political speech employed by the Greeks and the Trojans. 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.

Mackie held visiting positions at Stanford University and at Harvard University and she also was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow. She was interviewed on KUHF, Houston’s National Public Radio station, and she also served as a consultant for NASA’s space science terminology. At Rice, Mackie is the Program Advisor for Classical Studies.


Selected Publications


1. Books and Edited Volumes

  • Graceful Errors: Pindar and the Performance of Praise (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2003).
  • Talking Trojan: Speech and Community in the Iliad (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996).


2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “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.
  • “‘It Wasn’t Like That’: Demeter and Persephone, Fiction-writing and Myth in Margaret Drabble’s Peppered Moth,”Amphora 8 (2009), 22-3.
  • “Song and Storytelling: An Odyssean Perspective,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 127 (1997), 77-96.


                   Mackie Book2             Mackie Book1