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Craig Arthur Williams

Profile picture for Craig Arthur Williams

Contact Information

4032 FLB
707 S. Mathews
M/C 174
Urbana, IL 61801



Craig Williams (BA Yale 1986, MA and MPhil Yale 1990, PhD Yale 1992) is the author of Roman Homosexuality (Oxford University Press 1999; revised edition 2010), a commentary on Book 2 of Martial’s epigrams (Oxford University Press 2004), A Martial Reader (Bolchazy-Carducci 2011), Reading Roman Friendship (Cambridge University Press 2012), and numerous articles and reviews on Latin literature and Roman culture and their reception. Before coming to Illinois, Williams was on the faculty of Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of CUNY for many years. He has also taught at the Freie Universität Berlin and Columbia University, and he has several times been a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, researching in Berlin at both the Humboldt-Universität and the Freie Universität. Williams' research and teaching interests include: gender and sexuality in ancient Greek and Latin literature; friendship in Latin literature and epigraphy; animals and desire in Greek and Latin literature; Greek and Latin epigram; Native American writing on Greco-Roman antiquity.

In his current book project, Whose Antiquity? Native Writers of North America on Ancient Greece and Rome, Williams brings together for the first time over eighty Indigenous writers of North America who have made various uses of Greco-Roman antiquity, writing in a range of genres from the seventeenth century to today. Many of them have invoked the “classical” antiquity of Euro-American culture in order to talk back to narratives of Native barbarism or savagery, and all of them have in one way or another contributed to Indigenous survivance. In support of this project, Williams has been awarded fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), the Morphomata Center for Advanced Study at the University of Cologne (Germany), the U of I Center for Advanced Study, the Humanities Council and Department of Classics at Princeton University (Whitney J. Oates Fellowship), and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Research Interests

Gender and sexuality; friendship; epigram; animal studies; receptions of Roman sexuality, especially in historical fiction; Native American receptions of the Greco-Roman classics


Yale University, PhD in Classical Languages and Literatures 1992
Yale University, MA and MPhil in Classical Languages and Literatures 1990
Yale College, BA summa cum laude in Classical Languages and Literatures 1986


Morphomata Center for Advanced Study, University of Cologne, Germany (2020)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship (2018-2019)

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Research Fellowships at the Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany 1999-2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2020

PSC-CUNY Research Award (1993-1994)

Awards and Honors

Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Fifth Annual Distinguished Lecturer, 2014
University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study, Associate for 2017-2018
Leonard and Claire Tow Endowed Professorship, Brooklyn College, 2006-2008
Ethyle Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, Research Fellowship, 2000-2001
Outstanding Academic Title for 1999, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
John Addison Porter Prize for an outstanding dissertation in the humanities, Yale University, 1992

Courses Taught

LAT 302 (Ovid's Metamorphoses)
LAT 411/511 (Intermediate and Advanced Latin Prose Composition)
LAT 491 (Martial and Latin Epigram)
LAT 491 (Roman Friendship)
LAT 520 (Apuleius' Metamorphoses)
LAT 520 (Petronius' Satyricon)
LAT 520 (Survey of Latin Literature)
LAT 580 (Propertius)

CLCV/CWL 220 (Greco-Roman Antiquity in Native American Literature)
CLCV/CWL 220 (Animals in Literature)
CLCV/CWL 490 (Topics in Classical Literature: The Animal Self)
CLCV 240 / CWL 262 / GWS 240 (Gender and Sexuality in Greco-Roman Antiquity)

Additional Campus Affiliations

Head, Classics
Professor, Classics
Professor, Program in Translation and Interpreting Studies

Recent Publications

Williams, C. (2023). Fragments of Roman sexuality in Petronius' Satyricon. In Labor Imperfectus: Unfinished, Incomplete, Partial Texts in Classical Antiquity (pp. 59-86). De Gruyter.

Williams, C. A. (2022). The Latin Language and Native Survivance in North America. American Journal of Philology, 143(2), 219-246.

Williams, C. A. (2021). Homosexuality, Male. In T. Whitmarsh (Ed.), Oxford Classical Dictionary: Digital Edition Oxford University Press.

Williams, C. A. (2021). Sémantique de la mollesse dans la poésie de Properce. In D. Maira (Ed.), Mollesses renaissantes: Défaillances et assouplissement du masculin (pp. 31-53). (Cahiers d'Humanisme et Renaissance; No. 171). Librairie Droz.

Williams, C. A. (2021). The Risks of Riding a Dolphin: A Motif in Some Greek and Roman Narratives of Animal-Human Love. In K. Hsu, D. Schur, & B. Sowers (Eds.), The Body Unbound: Literary Approaches to the Classical Corpus (pp. 215–238). (The New Antiquity). Palgrave Macmillan.

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