Deborah Boedeker received a B.A. from Wellesley College (1966), and an M.A. (1967) and Ph.D. (1973) from St. Louis University. Her doctoral thesis, Aphrodite's Entry into Greek Epic, was published in 1974. She was a Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, and taught at Georgetown University, Brooklyn College, Wellesley College, and the College of the Holy Cross before being appointed Professor of Classics at Brown in 1992.
From 1992-2000, she was on partial leave of absence from Brown while directing Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., together with Kurt Raaflaub. She served as Chair of the Brown Classics Department in 2002-05 and 2006-08, and was elected Vice President for Research of the American Philological Association for 2001-05. She retired from regular teaching in 2010 and continues to enjoy pursuing and presenting her research.
Her research and teaching interests include archaic and classical Greek religion, poetry, and historiography-and particularly the mutual influences and confluences of these aspects of ancient culture. In addition to publications on archaic poetry, Euripides, religious and mythical traditions, and Herodotus, She has edited several collected volumes, most of them the result of conferences. These include:
Herodotus and the Invention of History. Arethusa, vol. 20 (1987)
The World of Troy: Homer, Schliemann, and the Treasures of Priam. Washington D.C., 1997; also published as a special issue of Classical World (1998)
The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Real World. Washington D.C., 1998
Democracy, Empire, and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens (with Kurt A. Raaflaub). Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquium Series. Cambridge, Mass., 1998
The New Simonides: Contexts of Praise and Desire (with David Sider). Oxford, 2001
Recent publications include:
“No Way Out? Aging in the New (and Old) Sappho,” in The New Sappho on Old Age, edited by Ellen Greene and Marilyn Skinner (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge MA 2009): 71-83.
“Early Greek Poetry and/as History,” in The Oxford History of World Historiography, vol. 1, ed. by Andrew Feldherr and Grant Hardy. (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2011): 122-147.
“Persian Gender Relations as Historical Motives in Herodotus,” in Herodot und das Perserreich, edited by Robert Rollinger, Brigitte Truschnegg, and Reinhold Bichler (Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2011): 211-235.
“Helen and ‘I’ in Early Greek Lyric,” in Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History without Historians History without Historians”, edited by John Marincola and Lloyd Llewelyn-Jones. (Edinburgh 2012): 65-82.
“The Speaker’s Past: Herodotus in the Light of Elegy and Lyric,” in Time and Narrative in Ancient Historiography, edited by Jonas Grethlein and Christopher B. Krebs. (Cambridge UP, Cambridge, 2012): 17-34.
“Persistent Inconsistency in Euripides’ Helen,” forthcoming in the Blackwell Companion to Euripides, ed. Robin Mitchell-Boyask. (Wiley-Blackwell; Malden, Mass. and Oxford, 2015).
“Two Tales of Spartan Envoys,” forthcoming in Kinesis (a Festschrift in honor of Donald Lateiner), Christina Clark, Edith Foster, and Judith Hallett, eds. (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2015).
“Tyrants’ Spectacles in Herodotus,” forthcoming in Pushing the Boundaries of Historia, Lee Fratantuono, Mary English, eds. (Routledge 2015)
“In Search of ‘Founding Mothers’,” forthcoming in Terra, territori i població a la Grècia antiga: aspects institucionals i mítics, eds. Marta Oller, Jordi Pàmias, and Carlos Varias (Barcelona 2015)
She is married to Kurt Raaflaub and has two adult children. In addition to her work, she enjoys alpine hiking, classical music, and travel to semi-exotic places.