Mario Telò

Professor of Classics
Ph.D. classics 2006 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
B.A. classics 2000 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Research Interests: 
Greek literature, ancient drama, critical theory
mtelo [at]
Office / Location: 
7212 Dwinelle
Office Hours: 
Spring 2019: W 11-1P

I spent eight years at UCLA as an assistant and associate professor of classics. My research interests cover the full range of Greek literature, with occasional incursions into Roman drama. After working for a number of years on Greek comedy, I have finished a book-length project on Greek tragedy entitled Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy, which takes my interests in affect, materiality, and psychoanalysis in a new direction, exploring how contemporary theorizations of the archive (especially Derrida's Mal d'Archive) and the death drive (in Freud as well as Bersani, Butler, Edelman, Deleuze, Lacan, Rancière, and Zizek) can help us understand the affective experience of tragedy. The book, now under contract, will appear in 2020 in the series "Classical Memories/Modern Identities" (ed. Paul Allen Miller and Richard H. Armstrong) published by Ohio State University Press. I am now working on a new project on Aristophanes and contemporary political theory, organized around readings of BirdsFrogs, Lysistrata, and Women at the Thesmophoria.

Other projects involve sound and the narrative unconscious in Heliodorus's Aethiopica; the materiality and symbolism of the title object in Plautus's Rudens and Hitchcock's The Rope (this is part of a book-length project on the three extant plays of Plautus titled after an object); Old Comedy and the death drive. A short monograph on Querolus is under contract with Bloomsbury, and with Melissa Mueller, I have coedited a volume entitled The Materialities of Greek Tragedy: Objects and Affect in Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (Bloomsbury 2018). I am currently the chief editor of the journal Classical Antiquity ( I also write for the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore

Select Publications: 

Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy (series "Classical Memories/Modern Identities," Ohio State University Press 2020)

The Materialities of Greek Tragedy: Objects and Affect in Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, edited with M. Mueller(Bloomsbury 2018)

Aristophanes and the Cloak of Comedy: Affect, Aesthetics, and the Canon (University of Chicago Press 2016)

Greek Comedy and the Discourse of Genres, edited with E. Bakola and L. Prauscello (Cambridge University Press 2013)

Eupolidis Demi, edition and commentary (Le Monnier 2007)

Forthcoming and Recent Articles:

In preparation, "Niobe's Glacial Motherhood," in A. Benjamin, ed., Niobes

In preparation, "Batrachopolitics: Animal An-omaly and the Stubbornness of Form in Aristophanes' Frogs," in S. Garland and C. Güthenke, eds., Aristophanes and the Political Moment, Bloomsbury

"Literary-Critical Intensities: Pathos, Affect, and Greek Tragedy," in J. Connolly and N. Worman, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Literary Theory and Criticism

"Between Emotion and the Emetic: Francis Bacon and the Tragic Body at the Margins of the Oresteia," forthcoming in Literary Imagination 2020

"Laughter or Aristophanes' Joy in the Face of Death," in E. Hall and P. Swallow, eds., Aristophanic Laughter, Bloomsbury 2019

"The Politics of Dissensus in Aristophanes' Birds," in H. P. Foley and R. M. Rosen, eds., Aristophanes and Politics, Brill 2019

"The Boon and the Woe: Friendship and the Ethics of Affect," and "Greek Tragedy and the New Materialisms" in M. Telò and M. Mueller, eds., The Materialities of Greek Tragedy: Objects and Affect in Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, London (Bloomsbury) 2018

"Iambic Horrors: Shivers and Brokenness in Archilochus and Hipponax," in M. Foster, L. Kurke, N. Weiss, eds., The Genres of Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry: Theories and Models, Brill 2018

"Re-performance, Exile, and Archive Feelings: Re-reading Aristophanes' Acharnians and Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus," in R. L. Hunter and A. Uhlig, eds., Imagining Reperformance in Ancient Culture: Studies in the Traditions of Drama and Lyric, Cambridge University Press 2017, 87-110. 

"Tasting Homer: Matro's Gastroaesthetic Tour Through Epic," in K. Rudolph, ed., Taste and the Ancient Senses, Routledge 2017, 72-89


Full CV: