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Faculty Fellow

Michèle Lowrie

Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Service Professor in Classics and in the College University of Chicago


Photo by Erielle Bakkum

Professor Lowrie’s research focuses on how Latin literature thinks about politics, particularly the ways political thought emerges from a text’s formal elements and figurative expression short of abstract conceptualization. She has published Horace’s Narrative Odes and Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome, both from Oxford University Press. Edited volumes include Oxford Readings in Classical Studies: Horace’s Odes and Epodes and, with Susanne Lüdemann, Exemplarity and Singularity: Thinking through Particulars in Philosophy, Literature, and Law, with Routledge. Current research focuses on civil war and security, both Roman concepts with long histories. A frequent visitor to the Center for Advanced Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, she has also held residential fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg, the Research Center “Cultural Theory and Theory of the Political Imaginary” in Konstanz, the American Academy in Berlin, and the Institute of Advanced Study in Durham, England. She has received a Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, as well as fellowships from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Lowrie gave the Gray Lectures at Cambridge in 2018. Her BA is from Yale and PhD from Harvard.

Featured Project

Thinking Through Tropes: Figures of Thought and the Political Imaginary

Project Team:

2014 – 2015


Working Group on Political Theology

Working Group on Political Theology

These scholars sought to define and refine a coherent agenda for a long-term, trans-disciplinary research project on theology’s influence on political ideas and institutions.

Scholarly literature suggests two reasons for the recent re-emergence of political theology across the social sciences and humanities, challenging what many thought was an outdated modality of inquiry. The first is a growing concern that the practical and theoretical subordination of politics to...