Amit Shilo

Assistant Professor
HSSB 4051
Office Hours:
M/F 12:00-1:00pm


Amit Shilo has broad interests in the intersections of ethics, politics, and religion in ancient Greek literature and philosophy. Currently, his emphasis is on the transformative power of conceptions of the afterlife from Homer, through tragedy, and into Plato. Amit’s book project is a study of the ethical and political implications of the various treatments of the afterlife in the Oresteia trilogy. His article on the afterlife in Greek tragedy and Plato appeared in ThéoRèmes. He has presented papers at the APA/SCS, CAMWS, FIEC, and Harvard’s Classical Traditions Seminar Series. His further research interests lie in Latin literature, especially Seneca; the Hebrew Bible; German Idealism; Kafka; literary theory; and modern intersections between religion and politics.

Amit received his Ph.D. in Classics from NYU (2012), where he also worked as a Language Lecturer (2012-13). He comes to UCSB from Harvard, where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center (2013-2014).

Amit is a cofounder of Classics and Social Justice and continually seeks to connect humanities with self-critical, positive social change. To further Classics through technology he cofounded the Libanius Translation Project, which establishes a new model of collective translation and annotation. Amit founded the Ancient Greek Social Media Project [Facebook and Twitter: Greek_Tragedy] and he contributes to the Classical Language Tool Kit, designed to create sophisticated data tools for the analysis of both Greek and Latin. He also spent a year studying material culture and excavation as the Phillip Lockhart Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (2007-08).

Amit sincerely welcomes inquiries from current and incoming students at any level interested in the above or similar topics.


Articles and Reviews

  • “From Oblivion to Judgment: Afterlives, Ethics, and Unbeliefs in Greek Tragedy and Plato” ThéoRèmes, 2013
  • “The Ghost of Clytemnestra in the Eumenides: Ethical Claims Beyond Human Limits” Forthcoming, Dec. 2018, American Journal of Philology
  • Review: “The Mortal Voice in the Tragedies of Aeschylus” Forthcoming, Dec. 2018, Classical World

Talks and Panels

  • Co-Organizer and co-chair, “Classics and Social Justice” Panel SCS, 2018
  • Co-Organizer and respondent, referee-organized panel, “Violence and the Political in Greek Epic and Tragedy” SCS, 2017
  • Co-Chair, round-table, “Classics and Social Justice” SCS, 2017
  • “Competing Divine Justices: Polytheism and Political Violence in Greek Tragedy” Divine (In)Justice in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Conference, University of Sheffield, UK, 2016
  • “The Laws of Hades Against the Laws of Athena: The Afterlife and Political Dissent in the Oresteia” Newman University, UK, 2016
  • “Plato and Kafka: The Dialectics of Withdrawn Revelation” American Comparative Literature Association, 2016
  • “Unanimous Gods, Unanimous Athens? Voting and Divinities in the Oresteia” Society for Classical Studies, 2016
  • “The Philosopher’s Sting: Thinking Beasts in Plato and Kafka” UCSB Metamorphosis Conference, 2015
  • “Tricky Spirits: Violence and Deception in Homeric Ghost Stories” UCSB 2014
  • “Cassandra on the Banks of the Acheron: Visualizing the Afterlife as Resistance in the Oresteia” Fédération internationale des associations d’études classiques, 2014
  • “Unanimous Gods, Unanimous Athens: Thinking Political Theologies with the Oresteia” Harvard’s Classical Receptions Seminar, 2014
  • “Clytemnestra’s Ghost: Image and Afterlife in the Oresteia” American Philological Association, 2013
  • “The Tablet-Writing Mind of Hades: A Third Model of Justice in the Eumenides” Classical Association of the Middle West and South Annual Meeting, 2012
  • “The Afterlife and Moral Decisions in the Oresteia” American Philological Association, 2011