Christopher Londa, ‘16

Christopher Londa is a scholar of literary culture in the Roman world, with a particular emphasis on the Late Roman Republic and Early Empire. Trained as a philologist at Harvard University (B.A.), the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (M.A. & DAAD Fellow), and Yale University (M.Phil. & PhD candidate), he organizes his research around problems related to labor, authorship, archives, property, enslavement, fugitivity, narrative power, and book history.

His dissertation, “Paraliterary Labor and the Social Conditions of Roman Authorship,” tells the story of the scribes, secretaries, librarians, teachers, and scholars who were the hidden engine behind the production of Latin literature in the first centuries BCE and CE. The project asks how their presence “in the room” shapes the texts that come out of it.

In addition to his dissertation research, he has presented papers at the Society of Classical Studies Annual Meeting, at the Symposium Cumanum, and at conferences hosted in Oxford, Graz, Berlin, Ghent, Princeton, and Bryn Mawr / Haverford. Select titles follow:

·         “Personification, Slavery, and the Roman Authorial Paradigm

·         “Who Built the Boat? Labor and Material in Phaedrus IV.7 and Catullus 64

·         “Fidus Achates as ‘Faithful Freedman’”

·         “Making or Taking Exempla in the Rhetorica ad Herennium and Cicero’s De Inventione

·         “A Commentary’s Costs: Anti-Racist Approaches to W. B. Stanford’s Odyssey Edition” (with Lina Kapp, Elizabeth Raab, and Jake Watson)

At Yale, Christopher Londa has worked with colleagues to co-organize the Departmental Colloquium (“Property and its Discontents” with Joseph Morgan), the Graduate Elected Speaker lecture, Philology Day (“The Counsel of Book-Worms: Constructions of the Book in Imperial Greek Writing”), and the “American Classicisms” working group at the Whitney Humanities Center (with Talia Boylan). Over the coming year, he is excited to collaborate with Francesca Beretta (Yale) on the Organizer-Refereed Panel “Re-tracing the Archive: Affects and Ethics” for the 2024 Society of Classical Studies Annual Meeting.

Versed in the pedagogies of second-language acquisition and distance learning, Londa has taught a range of courses (introductory Latin and Greek; Homer’s Odyssey; Ovid’s Heroides; Roman Republican History), winning the department’s student-nominated Deborah Roberts Teaching Prize in 2019–2020. In the Spring of 2022, he designed and piloted a new undergraduate seminar on “Identity, Power, and Practice in Classical Studies.” He is developing future courses on “Slavery in Latin Literature” and “American Myths & Greek Mythology.”

For his final year as a PhD Candidate at Yale, he is thrilled to join the Institute of Classics at the University of Graz as a Fulbright Fellow. In Graz, he will collaborate with Prof. Markus Hafner and Prof. Ursula Gärtner on the conference “Cacata Carta: Poetic Shitstorms in Ancient Texts” and with Prof. Hafner on a bilingual seminar on  “Authorship and Ownership.”

He is grateful to the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Archaia — the Yale Program for the Study of Ancient and Premodern Cultures and Civilizations, the Michael and Sophie Rostovtzeff Travel Fellowship in Archaeology, and the Yale Department of Classics for supporting his research during the dissertation years.