Alex Dressler

Credentials: Washington, PhD'09

Position title: Department Chair, Professor of Classics


Phone: 608-263-1184

906 Van Hise Hall

Dressler headshot
Research Interests

Republican, Imperial, and Late Antique Latin Literature, Gender and Sexuality, Early Christianity, Ancient and Modern Aesthetic Theory, Hellenistic Philosophy

Personal Website

Alex Dressler is committed to the Greek and Roman classics as an evolving canon of texts and methods rooted in the European tradition but aimed at redefining the modern reader’s practical sense of art and life, past and present, and politics and personal flourishing.

Focusing on the Roman world, publications include articles on feminism, queer theory, comedy, ancient aesthetics, Roman philosophy, and Michel Foucault. Dressler’s book on the intersection of gendering of personhood in Lucretius, Cicero, and Seneca is entitled Personification and the Feminine in Roman Philosophy and was published by Cambridge University Press in August of 2016; his introduction, translation, and commentary on the poems of Paulinus of Nola, Selections from the Poems of Paulinus of Nola, including the Correspondence with Ausonius, was published by Routledge in 2023.  

In addition to Greek and Latin in all genres for students at all levels, Alex’s teaching includes courses on Classical and Christian approaches to death and exemplarity, the history of the self in antiquity and modernity, sex and power in Greco-Roman culture, and gender, race, and class in Medieval Latin literatureAlex’s current project, tentatively entitled Marxism and Latin literature: a case study in Roman comedy, uses the early Roman playwright Plautus and his reception in Late Antique and modern contexts to address a longstanding problem in critical sociology, anthropology, and aesthetic theory: the relevance of modern concepts of knowledge, feeling, labor, and class to ostensibly pre-capitalist cultural forms.