Alex Press

Education: B.A., Classics, Columbia College, 1989; Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classics, UCLA, 2007; M.A., Classics, UCLA, 2009
Interests: Linguistics, literary theory, Greek and Roman comedy, intellectual history

In the broadest terms, my research interests include various permutations of comedy, food, animals, and the history of ideas. Both my M.A. paper, on Juvenal 15, and my qualifying paper, on Lucian’s Vitarum Auctio, run counter to prevailing contemporary approaches in arguing for an underlying consistency in each of these satirists’ self-presentation and ideological orientation. The Juvenal paper also touches on vegetarianism and the construction of the human-animal divide, two topics at the heart of my doctoral research on Porphyry’s De Abstinentia. This work, which collects all the major ancient arguments for and against vegetarianism and, by extension, the ethical treatment of animals, invites consideration of how various tropes and topoi have been recast and recycled through the years, right into present-day discourse, both popular and philosophical / scientific, as it relates to the boundary of the human and animal.