Sean Gurd

Professor of Classical Studies/Chair, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
108 Swallow Hall
Research Interests

Greek and Roman Music, Greek Drama, Literary culture and materiality, Media Theory and History.


Sean Gurd's work focuses on aesthetics and media studies. He has a special interest in music and sound culture, which he sees as connected to ancient science and medicine. This interest has led him deep into Aristotelian biology and Hippocratic medicine in addition to early music theory. He also has a secondary but related interest in 20th century avant-gardes, particularly in the Americas.

He is the author of four monographs: Iphigenias at Aulis: Textual Multiplicity, Radical Philology (Cornell University Press, 2006); Work in Progress: Literary Revision as Social Performance in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 2012), Dissonance: Auditory Aesthetics in Ancient Greece (Fordham University Press, 2016), and The Origins of Music Theory in the Age of Plato (Bloomsbury, 2019). He has also edited Philology and its Histories (Ohio State University Press, 2010), and co-edited 'Pataphilology, an Irreader (Punctum, 2018).

His current work includes a book about the ethics of perception in music, rhetoric, and philosophy; a book about the New York area poet, translator, and performance artist Armand Schwerner; a volume on the cultural history of music in Antiquity, co-edited with Pauline LeVen, and articles on classical literature in contemporary poetry and music.

He is a founding member of the editorial collective Tangent, a scholar-run, open access imprint of punctum books dedicated to publishing the best writing touching on classical antiquity.

Courses Taught

Origins of Music in the Ancient World (CL_HUM 2500)

Classics in a Cross-Cultural Context (CL_HUM 3750)

The Classical Avant-Garde (CL_HUM 7250)

Select Publications


Sean Gurd, ed. with Pauline LeVen (Yale). Cultural History of Music: Antiquity (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming)

Sean Gurd, The Origins of Music Theory in the Age of Plato. (London: Bloomsbury, 2019)

Sean Gurd and Vincent Van Gerven Oei, eds. 'Pataphilology: an Irreader (Punctum, 2018)

Sean Gurd, Dissonance. Ancient Greek Sound Culture. (New York: Fordham University Press, 2016) (Idiom: Inventing Writing Theory, ed. P. North and J. Lezra).

Sean Gurd, trans. Euripides, Hippolytus. The Hague: uitgevrij, 2012.

Sean Gurd, Work in Progress: Literary Revision in Classical Antiquity. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Sean Gurd, ed. Philology and its Histories. (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2010).

Sean Alexander Gurd, Iphigenias at Aulis: Textual Multiplicity, Radical Philology (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005)


Sean Gurd, “Orpheus, Euridice, and the Classical Tradition in Christian Bök’s Xenotext,” Classical Receptions Journal, 11 (2019): 61-80 (online publication 2018).

Sean Gurd, “David Melnick’s Men in Aïda,Classical Receptions Journal 8 (2016): 295-316.

Sean Gurd, “Resonance: Aeschylus’ Persae and the Poetics of Sound,” in New Approaches to Greek Tragedy, edited by James Collins and Ric Rader Ramus 42 (2013): 122-137.

Sean Gurd, “Verres and the Scene of Rewriting,” Phoenix 64.1-2 (2010): 80-101

Sean Gurd, “Meaning and Material Presence: The Epigrams on Timomachus’ Unfinished Medea,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 137 (2007): 305-331.

Sean Gurd, “Richard Bentley’s Radical Philology,” Classical and Modern Literature 26 (2007): 1-20.

Sean A. Gurd, “Cicero and Revision, 61-46 BCE” Classical Antiquity 26 (2007): 49-80.

Sean Gurd, “On Text-Critical Melancholy” Representations 88 (2004): 81-101.

Sean Gurd, “Aeschylus Terrorist,” in Writing and Terror, special issue of Journal of Human Rights 3.1 (2003) ed. Sean Gurd and Julija Sukys, 99-114.

Sean Gurd, “Three Silences.” Literary Research/Recherche Littéraire 33 (2000) 58-73

Sean Gurd, “Two Fragments on Gates: Certain Anachronisms.” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 29 (1998) 174-186

Book Chapters:

Sean Gurd, “Language, Poetry, and Rhetoric” in The Cultural History of Ideas in Antiquity (800 BC 400AD), ed. T. Habinek. London: Bloomsbury, in press.

Sean Gurd, “Craft, practice, and revision; ancient models of composition,” in the Oxford Handbook of Literary Theory and Criticism, ed. J. Connolly and N. Worman. New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.

Sean Gurd, “Revision in Greek and Latin Literature,” Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th edition, ed. Sander Goldberg and Tim Whitmarsh. Forthcoming (final copy submitted Nov. 5 2016)

Sean Gurd, “Auditory Philology,” in Sound and the Ancient Senses, ed. Shane Butler and Sarah Nooter . London: Routledge (in press).

Sean Gurd, “Social Functions of Ancient Drama,” in A Cultural History of Theatre, Vol. 1: Ancient Theatre, ed. Martin Revermann. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

Sean Gurd, “Catch A Wave. Sound, Poetry, Philology,” in For the Love of Words: Responses to Werner Hamachers 95 Theses on Philology, ed. G. Richter and A. Smock. Lincoln; University of Nebraska Press, In press.

Sean Gurd, “Greek Literature and Philological Method,” Oxford Handbooks Online, 2015.

Sean Gurd, “Philology of the Cave.” In Allegory of the Cave Painting, ed. V. van Gerven Oei. Amsterdam: Extra City, 2015.

Sean Gurd, “Revision in Greek Papyri,” in Eikos: Probabilities, Hypotheticals, and Counterfactuals in Ancient Greek Thought, edited by V. Wohl. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Sean Gurd, “Galen on ἔκδοσις,” in Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque - Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and its Times. University of Toronto Press: 2011.

Sean Gurd
Office Hours

Mondays & Wednesdays 11.00am -12.00pm

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