Katherine Kretler

Katherine Kretler

About

B.A. Harvard, 1992
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2011

BIOGRAPHY

Kate received her PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where she studied a broad range of texts and approaches. She specializes in ancient Greek literature and philosophy. Her book, One Man Show: Poetics and Presence in the Iliad and Odyssey (forthcoming from Harvard University Press/Center for Hellenic Studies) brings out the virtues of the Homeric poems as solo performance texts or scripts. One way in to these virtues is through Plato and Aristotle’s strong reactions to Homer. Unlike modern readers, these philosophers (like any other Greek) had the Iliad and the Odyssey in their bones. The fact that they saw these poems performed accounts in large part for their obsession with Homer, and with the poems’ ghostly or uncanny quality. She has also written on Aristotle’s account of the birth of tragedy, and on the value of drama to our understanding of action. Kate has worked as a dialect coach in Homeric Greek and enjoys working with students and theater practitioners on performance.
 
As an undergraduate, Kate intended to go to medical school and worked one summer in a genetics lab. But she was gradually drawn in by courses in literature, religion and philosophy, and an intensive summer Greek course finally changed her plans. She took her BA at Harvard in Psychology and the Study of Religion, a self-designed major. 
 
Kate has taught in Classics, Philosophy, and humanities programs at the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, Concordia University in Montreal, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.