Wesleyan portrait of Eirene  Visvardi

Eirene Visvardi

Associate Professor of Classical Studies

Downey House, 294 High Street, 213

Associate Professor, Letters


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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 that brings classical antiquity into dialogue with contemporary issues with special focus on discourses of truth and approaches to privacy, autonomy, accountability, and participation in legal and political institutional practices. More specifically she examines confessional discourse in the Athenian law-court and in story telling before the genre of confession comes to be delineated as such; the relationship between torture, truth, and state power in Athenian democracy; conceptions and practices of surveillance, privacy, and individual rights in Athenian democracy and utopian polities.

Visvardi teaches primarily Greek drama and its reception, ancient aesthetics, gender and sexuality in antiquity, utopias/dystopias in Greek literarute and across time in different genres and media, and Greek law. She also teaches Greek language on all levels.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2024
Tu: 4:00-5:00, Th: 2:45-4:00 and by appointment. Please reserve a slot here: Visvardi Office Hours.xlsx
Boger Hall 328


Spring 2024
CLST 221 - 01
Ancient Law and Order

Fall 2024
CLST 363 - 01
Gender, Past & Present

COL 241 - 01
Sophomore Colloquium 1