I am a sixth generation Texan, though I have now officially lived half of my life outside of Texas. Pennsylvania seems to have accepted me, though, and I at least think it’s going reasonably well.

Teaching and writing were all I ever wanted to do for a living, and, fortunately, I have found a few people willing to pay me for the former and a few people willing to give me some white space for the latter. For six years I combined my interests by teaching writing at the University of Pennsylvania, which was both stimulating and fun. In that program I designed and taught classes on everything from ancient magic to race in antiquity to the politics of belonging to fairy tales, and learned a great deal about pedagogy. After a surprising and exciting semester teaching Shakespeare in film at Temple University, I have recently returned firmly to the field of classical studies, and am teaching Greek, Latin, and classics courses at the University of Pennsylvania and at Temple.

My research explores poetry and poetics in archaic and classical Greece, mythology, and reception. I am currently (and probably foolishly) working on two book projects: one is on the development and significance of the figure of the Gorgon in Greco-Roman literature and art, and the other is an annotated translation of the Iliad for readers new to the poem and unfamiliar with the tradition. I have also published and/or presented on Medusa, dreams in ancient literature, Homer, Greek tragedy, teaching classics through writing, and – stretching my expertise, but responsibly – women’s suffrage in America, for the Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, admiring my cats, and dancing – I began studying Middle Eastern dance in 2005, picked up ballet in 2012, and went up on pointe in 2015. Other hobbies include sewing, quilting, studying Russian, playing classical piano, traveling, and creative writing.


PhD, Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania

MA, Classical Philology, University of Texas at Austin

BA, Classics and Creative Writing, Columbia University

Other Publications

  • “Dreams,” encyclopedia entry for The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Homer, edd. Corinne Pache and Casey Dué (Cambridge UP, forthcoming).

  • “Dr. Gertrude Elizabeth Curtis,” The Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, ed. Thomas Dublin (Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, forthcoming).

  • “Lida Stokes Adams” and “Florence Lukens Piersol,” The Online Encyclopedia of Women’s Suffrage, Pennsylvania (National American Woman Suffrage Association, forthcoming).

  • “Alison Turnbull Hopkins,” Women and Social Movements in the United States 21.1: 2017.


  • Facing Medusa: The Gorgon in Greco-Roman Antiquity. Book-length project on the mythology, development, and history of the Gorgon in Greco-Roman art and literature.

  • The Annotated Iliad. A guide to the English Iliad designed for readers new to the poem; includes commentary on the poetic tradition, characters, and story as well as maps and historical and linguistic details.


  • Society for Classical Studies

  • Classical Association of the Atlantic States

  • Women’s Classical Caucus

Alison Traweek

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