Professor Listing


John Harris, PhD (UIUC), MA (Manitoba)

Associate Professor


History and Classics

About Me

I received my PhD in Classical Philology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), my MA and BA from the University of Manitoba, and am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta.

I have taught at several institutions, both in Canada and the States, including Mount Allison University, UIUC, Texas Tech, and Washington State University, before returning to Edmonton. Although I work primarily on literary texts of the classical period, I have also had the opportunity to work as a rookie archaeologist for the Palatine East Excavations (1990), under the direction of Eric Hostetter. I even had the wonderful opportunity to spend a year (1994-1995) as a member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA).


Although trained as a classical philologist—someone who studies both Greek and Latin literature—I work primarily on the literary analysis of Plato, especially his earlier "Socratic" dialogues. But my research also includes Greek comedy and tragedy, as well as the influence of the fable tradition on comedy and Plato. I am currently guest- and co-editor, with Kathrin Koslicki (CRC in Epistemology and Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta), for a special edition of the journal Mouseion: “Death of a Gadfly: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Trial and Execution of Socrates.” I am also working on a monograph, tentatively entitled: "The Disgusting Philosopher: Why Socrates Was Tried, Condemned and Executed.”


My teaching interests include:

  • The Platonic dialogues
  • Greek and Roman Myth
  • Greek Comedy (especially Aristophanes)
  • Greek Tragedy (especially Euripides)
  • Greek Culture and Civilization