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

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept
(780) 492-6467
2-11 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4



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


CLASS 102 - Greek and Roman Mythology

A survey of classical mythology with readings in translation from various ancient authors as well as from modern scholarly works.

CLASS 321 - Literature and Culture of the Greek World

Representative works of Greek literature and their cultural context. All readings in English. Prerequisite: CLASS 102, 221 or consent of Department.

CLASS 500 - Fourth-Year Honors Tutorial

Prerequisite: consent of Department.

GREEK 101 - Beginners' Greek I

Elements of Classical Greek grammar and the reading of simple texts. Not open to students with credit in matriculation-level Greek.

GREEK 102 - Beginners' Greek II

A continuation of GREEK 101. Prerequisite: GREEK 101 or consent of Department.

GREEK 477 - Topics in Greek Prose

GREEK 509 - Topics in Greek Prose

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