- Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics
- Bachelor of Arts, Carleton College, 1985
- Master of Arts, Stanford University, 1989
- Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, 1992
Kirk Ormand has been at Oberlin since 2001, His research specialties include sexuality in the ancient world, archaic Greek poetry (especially Hesiod and Sappho), Sophocles, Euripides, Lucan, and the Greek Novel. He regularly teaches Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome, Classical Mythology, Greek History and intermediate and advanced courses in ancient Greek and Latin.
Kirk spent the year of 2007-08 in Athens, Greece, as the Elizabeth A. Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, where he pursued interests in material culture and Greek pre-history. In the summer of 2010, he led the ASCSA's summer session I, a 6-week archaeological tour of Crete and mainland Greece.
In January of 2013, Kirk led an intrepid group of 18 students on a 16-day tour of archaeological sites in ancient Greece. You can visit a tumblr (blog) of their trip here. The group had a terrific trip, and enjoyed being in Greece during the low tourist season. Kirk hopes to make this trip a more regular event (the previous trip was in 2006).
Kirk’s publications include Controlling Desires: Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome (Praeger Press, 2008), and the Companion to Sophocles (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), which came out in paperback in 2015. Kirk’s most recent books are The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women and Archaic Greece (Cambridge U. Press, 2014) and Ancient Sex: New Essays (Ohio State U. Press, 2015).
Kirk recently reviewed James Robson's Sex and Sexuality in Ancient Athens.
Kirk Ormand LecturesMay 11, 2017
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand gave three public lectures during spring semester. In February, Ormand was the keynote speaker at the University of Tennessee’s annual undergraduate conference in classics, delivering a talk titled “Sexualized Violence: the Eurymedon Vase in Context.” This talk presented the controversial “Eurymedon Vase,” an early 5th century Athenian wine vase (currently in Hamburg) in the context of sexual practices and their ideological depictions of Persians and Scythians. In March, Ormand delivered “Helen in Fragments” to the graduate program in Classics at the University of Cincinnati. The paper explores the alternative traditions surrounding Helen of Troy and a possible interetextual allusion to the fragments of Stesichorus in a fragment from Hesiod’s Catalogue of Women. In April, Ormand initiated a new series of workshops for graduate students in Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, on job training, the job market, and professional development.
Kirk Ormand elected board member for Society for Classical StudiesNovember 22, 2016
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Society for Classical Studies. The SCS (formerly the American Philological Association) is the primary professional organization in North America for scholars of ancient Greek and Roman literature, language, history, and culture, and it cooperates with the Archaeological Institute of America in the study of ancient Mediterranean archaeology. Prof. Ormand’s term begins in January 2017 and will last for three years.
Kirk Ormand publishes articleNovember 1, 2016
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand published the article, “Divine Perspective and the Plots of Zeus in the Hesoidic Catalogue,” in The Gods of Greek Hexameter Poetry: From the Archaic Age to Late Antiquity and Beyond, eds. J. Clauss, A. Kahane and M. Cuypers (Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2016). Ormand’s article examines the literary trope — common in archaic Greek poetry — that Zeus began the Trojan War in order to reduce the Earth of its too-rapidly expanding population. In the fragments of Hesiod’s mythological poem, The Catalogue of Women (on which Ormand published a monograph in 2014), Ormand argues that we see a careful exposition of human heroes' failure to understand these events from the perspective of the Olympian gods.
Kirk Ormand Delivers LecturesMay 27, 2016
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand delivered three public talks this past semester. In March, he gave the keynote address at Miami University of Ohio's undergraduate conference in classics, titled "Sexualized Violence: the Eurymedon Vase in Context." At the end of April, he attended the conference Engendering Time in the Ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean at Bates College, where he delivered "Atalanta and Sappho: Women In and Out of Time." And in May, he delivered a paper titled "This Sex Which Is Not Two: Looking Hard at Ovid's Hermaphroditus," at the quadrennial conference on Feminism and Classics, held this year at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Kirk Ormand PublishesMarch 9, 2016
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand recently published the article “Peut-on parler de perversion dans l’Antiquité? Foucault et l’invention du raisonnement psychiatrique” in Foucault: la sexualité, l’Antiquité, a volume of collected essays edited by Sandra Boehringer and Daniele Lorenzini (Paris: Éditions Kimé 2015, pages 63-83).
Ormand’s article developed out of a paper he delivered at a conference last spring in Paris that deals with the effects of Foucault’s three-volume History of Sexuality 30 years after its publication. Building on the work of Arnold Davidson, Ormand argues that previous to the development of “psychiatric reasoning” in the late 19th century, it is anachronistic to speak of sexual “perversions” in the modern sense, even in the case of individuals who might strike modern readers as exhibiting what we might think of as “perverse” behaviors and inclinations. Ormand’s article was translated into French for the volume by Sandra Boehringer and Isabelle Châtelet.
Kirk Ormand Publishes Two ArticlesJanuary 13, 2016
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand recently published two articles. The first, “Toward Iambic Obscenity,” appears in Ancient Obscenities: Their Nature and Use in the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds, edited by Dorata Dutsch and Ann Suter (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Ormand’s contribution explores the narrative and literary uses of invective obscenities in the fragmentary poems of the archaic Greek poet Hipponax, with particular attention to the story of how “iambic” poetry got its name and became associated with obscene invenctive.
The second article, “Buying Babies in Euripides’ Hippolytus,” argues that Hippolytus’ famous misogynistic speech in Euripides’ is framed in terms of an ongoing discursive conflict between short-term, lower-class, economic exchange and long-term, upper-class, aristocratic gift-giving. As such, Hippolytus’ misogyny also marks him as an aloof aristocrat living in the household of Theseus, legendary founder of Athenian democracy, a conflict that is played out through the rest of the drama. This article appears in a special edition of Illinois Classical Studies (volume 40.2, fall 2015).
Kirk Ormand Publishes Fifth BookAugust 25, 2015
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand published his fifth book, Ancient Sex: New Essays this summer. The book, co-edited with University of Washington Professor of Classics Ruby Blondell, is a collection of essays dealing with sexual behaviors and their meanings in ancient Greece and Rome. It is published by the Ohio State University Press.
The volume contains seven essays by an international group of scholars, an introduction by Ormand and Blondell, and an epilogue by David Halperin ’73. The essays cover a range of topics, including Athenian vase-painting, sexual graffiti at Pompeii, and the satiric dialogues of Lucian, an Assyrian living under the Roman empire who wrote in Greek. All of the essays are informed by and respond to Michel Foucault’s fundamental work on the discursive production of sexuality in the modern West.
Kirk Ormand Public TalksApril 15, 2015
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand has given a number of public talks this semester. In February, Ormand traveled to the University of North Carolina, Asheville, (UNCA) to give a talk titled “Sexualized Violence: The Eurymedon Vase in Context” as a part of the UNCA Humanities Colloquium series.
In March, Ormand delivered the keynote address at the Indiana Classical Conference, hosted by Earlham College. The subject of his talk was "Perversion in Antiquity: Seneca, Foucault, and the Invention of Psychiatric Reasoning.”
In April, Ormand delivered a revised version of the same paper at the conference Foucault: La Sexualité, L’Antiquité: 30 ans après held at the University of Paris-Diderot and sponsored by the Laboratoires ANHIMA (Paris) and Archimède (Strasbourg) and the Centre Michel Foucault (Paris).
Kirk Ormand Delivers Two Talks in FranceNovember 3, 2014
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand recently delivered two talks in France. On October 15, he spoke at the University of Strasbourg, on the topic, “Peut-on parler de perversion dans l'Antiquité? Foucault et l'invention du raisonnement psychiatrique.” This event was co-sponsored by the University of Strasbourg and the Laboratoire Archimede.
On October 18, Professor Ormand presented “Mestra in the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women” at a conference sponsored by the Projet Eurykleia in Paris, as part of the conferenxce, “Genre et Renommee en Grece Ancienne: Autour du Catalogue des Femmes.” The Projet Eurykleia is a collaboration between the Laboratoire ANHIMA in Paris and the Laboratoire Archimede in Strasbourg.
Kirk Ormand Publishes Book Dealing with Archaic Greek PoemMay 9, 2014
Kirk Ormand, Professor of Classics, has just published a book with Cambridge University Press, titled The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women and Archaic Greece. The book deals with an archaic Greek poem (mid 6th c. BCE), known in antiquity as the Catalogue of Women, which now exists only in fragments: we have roughly 1400 lines and partial lines of a work that was probably 4000 lines long in its original form. Ormand's book, the first mongraph on the Catalogue in nearly 30 years, reads the poem as an aristocratic response to the emerging structures of the polis (city-state) towards the end of the Archaic period.
Kirk Ormand Publishes Article in New BookFebruary 12, 2014
Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand’s article, “Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Discipline of Classics,” appears in A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities, published this year by Wiley-Blackwell. “The book makes an excellent Valentine's Day gift and is available at finer booksellers everywhere,” he says.