Joy Connolly works mainly on Roman ideas about communication, education, and governance, and their ongoing relevance for the modern world. After studying classics at Princeton (A.B. 1991) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D. 1997), she taught at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Stanford University before coming to NYU in 2004.
Her first book, The State of Speech: Rhetoric and Political Thought in Ancient Rome, was published by Princeton in 2007; her second, a book about republicanism called Talk about Virtue, is under contract with Duckworth Press. She has written articles on Roman political theory, elegiac and pastoral poetry, rhetorical education, and the seventeenth century reception of classical literature and political thought, and her book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Women’s Review of Books, Bookforum, and TLS. Part of a future project on ethics and literary interpretation, her edition of Wilkie Collins’ nineteenth century classic detective novel The Moonstone was published in 2005. Forthcoming work includes essays on the exemplarity of Rome in eighteenth century American education, the framing of ethical choice in Vergil’s Aeneid, and the relation of torture and justice in early imperial Roman rhetoric.
Professor Connolly teaches undergraduate courses on ancient political theory, Roman cultural identity, and a course in NYU’s core curriculum, “Conversations of the West.” Current and recent graduate seminars have tackled Greek and Roman rhetoric, Latin pastoral poetry, and the nature of Roman republicanism. She held a post-doctoral fellowship in Latin literature at Stanford in 1999 and was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Human Values in Princeton University in 2003. As leader of a working research group generously funded by the Teagle Foundation, she plans to edit a book on the contemporary role of the liberal arts in educating democratic citizens. Other projects for the future include a book on the emergence of Athens and Rome as ideal states, and an essay on anti-democratic and anti-intellectual trends in American public discourse.