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Umbrellas on the Gizmo Patio

Mitchell Parks


Mitchell Parks

Assistant Professor of Classics

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Assistant Professor of Classics

Mitchell ParksGeneral Interests

"My research rests at the intersection of ancient literature and political theory. To define my work in the narrowest sense, I try to sort out how Athenian authors of the fourth century BCE were influenced by trends in Athenian government and vice versa. But in a broader sense, I am interested in how literary works reflect and attempt to overcome the tensions that inevitably arise when humans get together in large groups.

"That means that, in my courses, you are likely to find yourself pondering ethical questions that pertain just as much to the modern world as to the ancient. To give a few examples: How can we reconcile the democratic ideals of ancient Athens with the fact that their democracy was predicated on the exclusivity of citizen rights, i.e., on extreme misogyny, nationalism, and slave-owning? How can we enjoy ancient myths and historical narratives while recognizing the ways they have been manipulated and abused in support of oppressive ideologies from antiquity to today? And how have works such as the Harry Potter series displaced the likes of the Oresteia and Aeneid as guides for moral and civic education, and is that a good thing?"

Years at Knox: 2017 to present


Ph.D., Classics, 2014, Brown University

B.A., Classics, 2008, Grinnell College

Teaching Interests

Citizenship, law, and civic values in the ancient world; ancient democracy; epic poetry; historical linguistics; Greek and Roman myth and its reception in modern literature.

Selected Professional Accomplishments


Program for Undergraduate Research grant (Bucknell) Summer 2016

College Core Curriculum development grant (Bucknell) Summer 2015

Dean's travel funding (Bucknell) 2016, 2015

Dissertation Fellowship (Brown) 2012-2013

Graduate School conference travel grants (Brown) 2012, 2014

Scholarly Publications

"If You'll Be My Bodyguard: Simonides the Mercenary in Xenophon's Hieron" (Forthcoming)

"Isocrates' Letter to Archidamus in Its Literary Context" (In Progress)


"Agesilaus, Athens, and Communicating Civic Virtue," SCS Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2018 

"Isocrates' Letter to Archidamus in Its Literary Context," SCS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2015

"Mercenary Wisdom: The Role of Simonides in Xenophon's Hieron," APA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2014

"Beginning from Zeus: Pindaric Encomium in Statius' Thebaid," CAMWS Annual Meeting, Baton Rouge, LA, 2012

Other Publications

"Epigraphs and Epitaphs: Raising the Dead in Deathly Hallows," Eidolon, June 21, 2014

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Printed on Monday, October 22, 2018