Wesleyan portrait of Eirene  Visvardi

Eirene Visvardi

Associate Professor of Classical Studies

Downey House, 294 High Street, 213

Chair, Classical Studies


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BA University of Crete
MPHIL Cambridge University
PHD Stanford University

Eirene Visvardi

Eirene Visvardi works primarily on Greek drama and its role in ancient intellectual and political life. The questions that drive her work regard the nature and structure of the emotions and their motivational power; the relationship between individual and collective, especially in the context of democratic institutions; and the role of different aesthetic, discursive, and performative forms including theater and philosophy in shaping both the emotions and political dialogue. She discusses these issues in her book Emotion in Action: Thucydides and the Tragic Chorus (Brill Mnemosyne Supplements 2015) in which she argues that the choral discourse of the emotions, especially pity and fear, suggests a variety of ways to experience, envision, and practice social and political participation and thus offers paradigms of affective participation to be taken outside the theater.

She is currently working on a book on utopian and dystopian thinking where she moves from Greek epic, drama, and philosophy to modern literature and theory on utopianism. By tracing the beginning of utopian thinking and some of its fundamental concepts and recurrent preoccupations, her aim is to contribute to our understanding of the so-called utopian impulse in psychological and political terms.

She is also particularly interested in the rhetoric of confession and the different fictional and institutional contexts for its performance both in antiquity and today.

Visvardi teaches primarily Greek drama and its reception, ancient aesthetics, and gender and sexuality in antiquity. She also teaches Greek language on all levels.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2019: Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 pm and Thursdays, 3:00-4:00 pm

and by appointment


Fall 2019
CCIV 115F - 01
Utopias Past and Present (FYS)

GRK 102 - 01
Introduction to Ancient Greek

GRK 250 - 01
Afterlife Anct Greece (CLAC)