Johanna M. Hanink Associate Professor of Classics

Johanna Hanink joined the Department of Classics in 2010, after completing her MPhil and PhD at Queens' College, Cambridge. Before arriving in Cambridge she had studied at the University of Michigan (B.A.) and the University of California, Berkeley (M.A.); she has also spent time as a visitor at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her work focuses on ancient theater and performance, the cultural life of classical Athens, and the idea of the "Greek miracle." She is also active in the Program in Modern Greek Studies. 

She is the author of Lycurgan Athens and the Making of Classical Tragedy (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which argues that, in the fourth century BC, certain prominent Athenians invented the idea of "classical" tragedy in part to compensate for the city's weakened political position on the eve of Athens' fall to Macedon.

Her second book, The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity, is forthcoming with Harvard University Press in spring  2017. It explores how Western fantasies of classical antiquity have created a particularly fraught relationship between the European West and the country of Greece. It also discusses how Greece's contemporary "tale of two crises" has raised questions about the very nature of (the construct of) modern Western identity.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work


Lycurgan Athens and the Making of Classical Tragedy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Classical Studies series. 2014.


“Why 386 BC?: Lost empire, old tragedy, and reperformance in the era of the Corinthian War,” Trends in Classics (2015) 7.2 277-96.

"The Great Dionysia and the End of the Peloponnesian War," Classical Antiquity (2014) 33.2 319-46.

"Epitaphoi Mythoi and Tragedy as Encomium of Athens," Trends in Classics (2013) 5.2 289-317.

"Aristotle and the Tragic Theater in the 4th Century BC: A Response to Jennifer Wise," Arethusa 44.3 (2011) 311-328.

"The Epitaph for Atthis: A Late Hellenistic Poem on Stone," JHS 130 (2010) 15-34.

"The Life of the Author in the Letters of 'Euripides'," GRBS 50.4 (2010) 537-564.

"Parallel Lives. Civic Rhetoric in the Native Receptions of Euripides and Dante," Centopagine (special issue: "Leggere le vite di autori") 3 (2009) 20-29.

"Literary Politics and the Euripidean Vita," CCJ 54 (2008) 115-135.


“Literary Evidence for New Tragic Production: The View from the Fourth Century,” in The Greek Theatre in the Fourth Century BC, eds. E. Csapo, J.R. Green and P. Wilson. Berlin: De Gruyter/German Archaeological Institute (2014) 189-206.

"Crossing Genres: Comedy, Tragedy, and Satyr Play," in M. Fontaine and A. Scafuro (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press (2014) 258-77.

"The Classical Tragedians, from Athenian Idols to Wandering Poets," in I. Gildenhard and M. Revermann (eds.), Beyond the Fifth Century: Interactions with Greek Tragedy from the Fourth Century BCE to the Middle Ages. Berlin: De Gruyter (2010) 35-64.

Other publications

"Hellenic heritage," review of Amanda Wrigely's Greece on Air. Times Literary Supplement, April 20, 2016.

"Staging Greek trauma: A review of Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today." Eidolon, November 19, 2015. 

"Ode on a Grecian Crisis: What can classicists really say about the Greek economy?" Eidolon, July 20, 2015.