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Peter O'Connell


Lecturer in Classics

Contact Information: 

Building 110, room 212

Office Hours: 

Wednesdays 11:00-12:00 and by appointment

I received my bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard and an M. Phil. degree from the University of Cambridge, where I was a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow.  During the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years I was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford.  My research and teaching focus on Greek prose of all periods, Classical Athenian literature and culture, Greek law, Greek epigraphy and Greek religion.  I also have strong interests in rhetoric, performance studies and visual culture.
My current book project, The Performance of Persuasion: Seeing and Hearing in Attic Forensic Oratory, discusses the performative effects of the language of sight in speeches from Athenian trials of the fifth and fourth centuries BC.  The texts of these speeches are all that survive of dynamic performances that sought to persuade jurors through voice, words, gestures and appearance.  My research shows how litigants’ words work together with their physical appearance, how litigants plant images in their jurors’ minds, and how litigants bring their speeches to life by referring to people in the courtroom.  My work draws on traditional philology, legal anthropology and modern linguistics.  I expect to complete the manuscript in late 2013 or early 2014.
I am the author of an article entitled, "Hyperides and Epopteia: A New Fragment of the Defense of Phryne," which appeared in Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies (2013).  Other current research interests include Hippocrates' On the Art, the iconography of the Anthesteria, deictic pronouns in Lysias and the Demosthenic scholia.  I am also in the early stages of a new project on Attic documentary inscriptions as visual recreations of performances in the Athenian assembly.  
I have taught beginning through advanced Greek, beginning and intermediate Latin, Greek composition and Greek and Roman culture courses in translation.  This year at Stanford, I am teaching beginning Greek in the fall quarter, the Classical part of the graduate Greek survey in the winter quarter and Greek composition in the winter and spring quarters.


Selected Courses