James Brophy


Course taught in Judaic Studies:

CLA 202 Mythology of the Ancient Near East, North Africa, and Greece


  • Ph.D., Boston University, English Literature
  • B.A., M.A., University of Maine, Latin, Classical Studies, English Literature

Research and Teaching Interests

I am a scholar of British and Irish literature with a particular interest in classical reception studies—how Victorians and modernists inherit literary forms and philosophical concepts from Greco-Roman antiquity.

I teach the full CLA sequence, from introductory overviews of Greek and Latin literature in translation, to more specialized courses on mythology and gender in the ancient world, and upper-level courses on the tradition of Hero literature, and the myth of the Amazons, from the ancient world to today. These classes are all taught in translation, and no knowledge of ancient languages are required to take them.

I have also taught Latin language and literature at UMaine, and continue to enjoy reading and translating Latin poetry. I also teach and research in other areas of modern literature, and lecture as a Preceptor in the Honors College.

Current Research and Selected Publications

Books: My edited volume, Samuel Beckett’s Poetry (co-edited with Dr. Will Davies), will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. In addition to our article-length introduction to Beckett as a poet, the volume contains my chapter on Beckett’s reception of the Greek gnomic poetic tradition, and sixteen additional chapters written by scholars of modern poetry and Beckett studies addressing all aspects of Beckett’s poetry.

I’m am now at work on a monograph provisionally entitled Poetry’s Pessimism, about the influence and reception of determinism and fatalism in modern pastoral poetry.

Articles and Chapters: I’ve recently published articles on gnosticism in the WWII poet Keith Douglas (“Cynic and Lyric Balanced: The War Dead and The Lyric Beloved in Keith Douglas,” Twentieth Century Literature 66.1, 2020); on Osip Mandelshtam’s inheritance of the Roman poet Ovid (Journal of Translation Studies 11.3, 2018); and on Walter Pater, Roland Barthes, and literary aesthetics (Paideuma 45, 2019).

I’ve contributed chapters on love in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (Beckett Beyond the Normal, ed. Séan Kennedy, 2020); and on cliché and the post-critique in Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent (Politics of Fear, Politics of Hope: Post-critique and Joseph Conrad, ed. Jay Parker and Joyce Wexler, forthcoming with Palgrave).

Department Profile