Horn Professor, Classics
David H. J. Larmour (Ph.D. in Classical Philology, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Classics at Texas Tech and Honorary Professor of Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology at the University of Birmingham. He has particular interests in Greek athletics & the Roman arena, Greek and Roman satire, lyric poetry, narrative theory, and comparative literature. Although grounded in classical philology, his research takes in display and representation of the body in text and space; the ideological underpinnings of competition, exile, memory and nostalgia; and the re-imagining of the classical past in the modern era. He also looks at how the physical borders of empires, and their accompanying mental categories, shape our understanding of the past, who we think we are, and whither we are headed.
He has published articles on Euripides, Corinna, Plutarch, Lucian, Horace, Ovid and Juvenal, as well as on Nabokov and Dostoyevsky. His first book, Stage and Stadium: Drama and Athletics in Ancient Greece, was published by Weidmann Press in 1999. He is also the co-author with A. Georgiadou of Lucian's Science Fiction Novel, True Histories (Leiden: Brill, 1998), an interpretation and commentary of that work. He has edited volumes on Rethinking Sexuality: Foucault and Classical Antiquity (Princeton), Russian Literature and the Classics (Routledge), and Discourse and Ideology in Nabokov's Prose (Routledge). A volume of essays called The Sites of Rome: Time, Space, Memory, co-edited with Diana Spencer, was published by Oxford University Press in 2007.
His latest book, The Arena of Satire: Juvenal's Search for Rome (Oklahoma 2016), looks at the connections between satire and the Roman arena, styling the satirist as a literary version of the gladiator who wounds, slices and dismembers his victims, while himself ending up as just one more performer in the imperial spectacle of power and powerlessness. The book also treats the "modern Juvenalians" of the 20th century and Prof. Larmour is now engaged in writing a monograph on these writers (including Evelyn Waugh, Viktor Pelevin, Martin McDonagh and Michel Houellebecq) and a survey of the genre of Juvenalian Satire in modern times. Other projects include a study of the portrayal of women in Nabokov's King, Queen, Knave, and a long-term investigation of the psychology of contested "border-zones" of the Roman Empire and its successor powers in mainland Europe and beyond.
In 1997, Prof. Larmour co-founded, with Paul Allen Miller, the journal INTERTEXTS, which publishes articles of comparative and theoretical reflection, and served as Editor for 10 years. He also edited special issues on The Literature of Exploration, Landscapes of Desire and Nabokov's Novels. He maintains a close interest in the journal and currently serves as one of its Associate Editors. Since December 2007, Prof. Larmour has been the Editor of The American Journal of Philology, the oldest classical journal in North America, founded by Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve in 1880. He has to date overseen 36 issues of the journal into press and has been engaged in enlarging and internationalizing the Editorial Board of AJP.
Prof. Larmour has given a number of invited lectures at various universities, including Birmingham and London in the UK, Paris IV (Sorbonne), Geneva, Maynooth, Budapest, Western Ontario and Singapore, as well as in the United States at Columbia, Penn State, S. Carolina, Oklahoma, Baylor, UT San Antonio and McNeese State. Most recently, he presented papers at La Représentation du Loser, an international event co-organized with Carole Edwards and Starra Priestaf at TTU, and at the Classics and Irish Politics, 1916-2016 conference held in June 2016, at the Royal Irish Academy and Trinity College, Dublin.
Prof. Larmour has been engaged in a continuing scholarly collaboration with Prof. Diana J. Spencer, Dean of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham in the UK, since they began co-editing The Sites of Rome: Time, Space, Memory in 2005. They are currently working on a joint study of Ovidian topography, focused on the Metamorphoses and the Fasti. Other collaborative ventures include a new translation of Lucian's True History, illustrated by Jeremy Smith, with graphic-novel specialists Candle Light Press; and a research project on Imperialism and Science Fiction along the East/West Binarism with Dr. Jason Banta at the National University of Singapore.
Prof. Larmour co-directs (with Christopher Witmore) The Centre for Archaeology and Ancient Studies (CAAS) at Texas Tech, which encourages innovative research by promoting the ancient past as a site of cultural production that bridges concerns across times, spaces and disciplines. Through CAAS, collaborative research is facilitated with scholars across the globe, distinguished speakers are regularly brought to campus and symposia and public events on topics of current interest are organized. In Spring 2016, to mark the Olympic Year, Prof. Larmour and Peter Miller put on A Week of Events: Olympics, Ancient and Modern. Prof. Larmour also serves on the Board of the Texas Tech Humanities Centre and works with The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization to promote awareness of the Classical past and its influence.
Prof. Larmour teaches a variety of courses at the graduate level in Greek and Latin literature (Lyric, Tragedy, Satire, Historiography, Biography) combining rigorous philology with contemporary critical methodologies and an understanding of the broader literary tradition up to the present day. He also teaches undergraduate seminars on such topics as Athens vs Sparta, Greek Warriors and Athletes, The Sorrows of the Roman Arena, and Vergil's Aeneid.