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Ruby Blondell (they/them/theirs)

Professor Emerita of Classics, Adjunct Professor Emerita of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies

Contact Information

Denny M 262 D


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
B.A. University of Oxford
PDF icon CV (151.84 KB)

My interests center on Greek intellectual history (broadly understood), gender studies, and the reception of myth in contemporary mass culture. My latest book, Helen of Troy in Hollywood (Princeton University Press 2023) focuses on the representation of Helen and her beauty in popular film and television. You can read excerpts from this book at LitHub ( and Lapham's Quarterly (

You can hear me talking about my work on Helen of Troy in these podcasts:

Let's Talk about Myths, Baby! (

Forgotten Hollywood (

My previous monograph, Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation (Oxford University Press 2013), focuses on the threat of female beauty, and Helen as an emblem of constrained female agency, in Greek myth and literature from Homer to Isocrates. Earlier books include The Play of Character in Plato’s Dialogues (Cambridge 2002), which argues for the significance of dramatic form and characterization for understanding Plato, and Helping Friends and Harming Enemies: A Study in Sophocles and Greek Ethics (Cambridge 1989), which approaches tragedy from the perspective of popular ethics.

I have edited two special issues of Helios, entitled Queer Icons from Greece and Rome, and Ancient Mediterranean Women in Modern Mass Media (the latter with Mary-Kay Gamel). I also co-edited (with Kirk Ormand) a collection of essays entitled Ancient Sex: New Essays, in the Ohio University Press series Classical Memories/Modern Identities (2015). My translations of Greek tragedy include Medea (in Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides, Routledge 1999) and Sophocles' Theban Plays (Focus Classical Library 2002). These translations are designed to be readable for a modern audience and usable as theatrical scripts, while also helping the reader to understand these dramas in their cultural context.

My interest in drama extends to performance and I have been involved in a number of local theatrical productions, providing ancilliary material, for example, for the Seattle theater On the Boards and for the world-premiere of the flamenco dance piece Antigona. Professionally, I have held various offices in the American Philological Association and have a long-standing involvement with both the Women's Classical Caucus (whose email list I manage) and the Lambda Classical Caucus. I served as the lead organizer for the conference Feminism and Classics VII: Visions, which took place in Seattle in May 2016. Though retired, I remain professionally active.


Selected Research

Courses Taught

Autumn 2023

Autumn 2015

Winter 2014

Spring 2012

Resources & Related Links


Affiliated Departments: 
Professional Affiliations: 
Program in Theory and Criticism

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