Joseph Howley

Associate Professor of Classics

Columbia University

Joseph A. Howley joined the department in 2011 after earning a PhD in Latin (2011) and an M Litt in Ancient History (2007) from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.  He also holds a BA (2006) in Ancient Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).  He teaches Latin, Book History, and Columbia’s Literature Humanities course.  He was a 2014-2016 Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School, and is Secretary of RBS’s Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography.

His doctoral thesis considered representations of reading and knowledge in the Noctes Atticae of Aulus Gellius, and he remains interested in Gellius, imperial literature both Latin and Greek, the so-called “Second Sophistic,” and the genre of miscellanies and collections.  He has published widely on Gellius and Roman intellectual culture, including on Roman “study abroad” practices from the Late Republican through Antonine eras, and his first book, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the Noctes Atticae, will be published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press.

Prof. Howley’s current interests also include the history of the book, media history from antiquity to the present, material text disciplines including codicology and bibliography, and the history of audio technology and digital scholarship.  His new project concerns the long material lives of Classical texts, both in and beyond antiquity, and includes ongoing work on slavery and the ancient book, the manuscript and early print transmission of ancient tables of contents, and the Latin and Greek recordings made at the Harvard Vocarium c1940.  An article by Prof. Howley on Roman book-burning appeared in the 2017 volume of the Journal of Roman Studies.  He is also the co-organizer of the workshop series MATERIA: New Approaches to Material Text in the Roman World (