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Harriet Fertik

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Harriet Fertik

Assistant Professor


414 University Hall
230 N. Oval Mall Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Roman literature and political thought
  • Classical Reception Studies


  • PhD, University of Michigan
  • AB, University of Chicago

Harriet Fertik is assistant professor in the Department of Classics and affiliate of Comparative Studies, the Melton Center for Jewish Studies, and NESA. Her research focuses on literature and political thought in ancient Rome and on classical receptions. Her first book, The Ruler’s House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) explored how Romans used the world of the house to interpret and interrogate the role of the emperor. Her current book project, Position and Persuasion: W. E. B. Du Bois, Hannah Arendt, and the Uses of Antiquity, explores how and why Du Bois, a Black American writer, sociologist, and civil rights activist, and Arendt, a German Jewish refugee, essayist, and political theorist, deploy Greek, Roman, and Jewish antiquity in their accounts of political education. By putting these thinkers in dialogue, she aims to develop a new approach to two interrelated problems in the study of Classics, which have implications for humanistic scholarship more generally. The first is the status of “tradition,” a word that has become bound up with concerns about the exclusivity of classical canons. The second concerns positionality, particularly how our situatedness as scholars informs our interpretations of the ancient past.