Katherine De Boer
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Classical Studies
Ballantine Hall 558
- A.B. at the University of Chicago, 2007
- M.A. at UNC—Chapel Hill, 2010
- Ph.D. at UNC—Chapel Hill, 2016
- Latin poetry, especially Catullus, Vergil, Ovid, and Lucan
- Early Greek poetry, especially Hesiod, Homer, and Pindar
- Women, gender, and class in antiquity
- Feminist literary criticism
- Classics in cinema
My research focuses on the treatment of women in ancient poetry, particularly epic poetry. My current book project, Dido’s Wound: Death and the Female Body in Homer, Vergil, and Ovid, argues that ancient epic uses the dying female body as a means of reproducing and reinforcing sexual norms. Sexually compliant women die “gentle” (malakoi), bloodless, and disembodied deaths, while sexually transgressive women are punished with violent deaths that are narrated in "carnographic" detail. The transgressive female body becomes a site of body horror and grotesque violence, and is especially figured as penetrable and penetrated. I argue that these spectacles of the ruined body encode prurient and punitive attitudes towards female sexuality, and may function as a means of disciplining and controlling real women.
An article on Pindar’s rape narratives will appear in Helios in 2017. Ongoing projects include a study of the trope of scapegoating women for male death in epic poetry and an article on violence against slave bodies and the beloved female body in Ovid’s Amores.