Location: Bowdoin / Jennifer Clarke Kosak


Jennifer B. Clarke Kosak

Associate Professor of Classics
Chair of Classics Department

Contact Information


Sills Hall - 11

Teaching this semester

CLAS 1102. Introduction to Ancient Greek Culture

Jennifer B. Clarke Kosak
Introduces students to the study of the literature and culture of ancient Greece. Examines different Greek responses to issues such as religion and the role of gods in human existence, heroism, the natural world, the individual and society, and competition. Considers forms of Greek rationalism, the flourishing of various literary and artistic media, Greek experimentation with different political systems, and concepts of Hellenism and barbarism. Investigates not only what is known and not known about ancient Greece, but also the types of evidence and methodologies with which this knowledge is constructed. Evidence is drawn primarily from the works of authors such as Homer, Sappho, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato, and Hippocrates, but attention is also given to documentary and artistic sources. All readings are done in translation.

GRK 3303. The Historians

Jennifer B. Clarke Kosak
Focuses on the histories of Herodotus or Thucydides. Course may be repeated for credit if the contents change. Research seminar.

Jennifer Clarke Kosak: Bowdoin College


Jennifer Clarke Kosak received her undergraduate degree from Harvard-Radcliffe, where her concentration was in Classics. She then entered the doctoral program in Classical Philology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and wrote a dissertation entitled "The Pain of Living: Suffering and Healing in Euripidean Tragedy." She specializes in Greek language and literature; her particular interests include Greek tragedy, Greek and Roman medicine, Greek intellectual history and gender studies.


Heroic measures: Hippocratic medicine in the making of Euripidean tragedyHeroic measures: Hippocratic medicine in the making of Euripidean tragedy. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2004.

Articles/Book Chapters

“The Wall in Aristophanes’ Birds,” in City, Countryside and the Spatial Organization of Value in Classical Antiquity, ed. Ralph Rosen and Ineke Sluiter, 173-180. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2006.

“The male interior: strength, illness and masculinity in Sophokles’ Philoktetes,” in Greek Drama III. Bulletin of the Institute for Classical Studies Supplement 87 (2006) 49-64.

“A Crying Shame: pitying the sick in the Hippocratic Corpus and Greek tragedy,” in Pity and Power in Ancient Athens, ed. Rachel Sternberg, 253-276. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Polis Nosousa: Greek ideas about the city and disease in the fifth-century B.C.,” in Death and Disease in the Ancient City, ed. E. A. Marshall and V. Hope. New York and London: Routledge, 2000.

“Therapeutic Touch and Sophokles’ Philoktetes,” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 99 (1999) 93-134.

Work in Progress

Unmanned: Masculinity and Disease in Ancient Greek Society, a book examining the impact of disease on the performance of masculinity in ancient Greece.

“Fighting and mastering disease: metaphors and masculinity,” What’s Hippocratic about the Hippocratics? XIIIth Colloquium Hippocraticum, The University of Texas, Austin, TX, August 11-13, 2008.

“Masculinity and illness: some case studies in ancient Greece,” What is Masculinity? How Useful is it as a Historical Category? Conference at Birkbeck College, University of London, May 14-16, 2008.

“Masculinity and medicine in Ancient Greece,” invited lecture, Smith College, Northampton, MA. March 13, 2008.

“Aelius Aristides and the masculine experience of disease,” Approaches to Ancient Medicine, Ancient Medicine Research Seminar, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, August 22-23, 2005.

Andres gar polis: city limits in classical Greek thought,” City and Countryside in the Ancient Imagination, Penn-Leiden Colloquium on Ancient Values, Leiden, the Netherlands, June 3-5, 2004.