Alex Purves

A photo of Alex Purves
E-mail: Phone: 310-825-8873 Office: Dodd Hall 226B

Office Hours: Monday 1-3 (WQ 2018)

I joined the UCLA faculty in 2002 after completing my Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and my BA and MA degrees at the University of Nottingham (UK). My main area of interest is Greek literature from the archaic and classical periods. My book on space and landscape in the early Greek epic and prose tradition, Space and Time in Ancient Greek Narrative (Cambridge University Press) was published in 2010. My next booklength study, Homer and the Poetics of Gesture (forthcoming Oxford University Press, 2018), approaches the Homeric poems through a series of focused readings of particular somatic positions and actions. I am also interested in the ancient senses: I co-edited Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses with Shane Butler (Acumen/Routledge, 2013), and recently edited Touch and the Ancient Senses for the same series (Routledge 2018).

I serve on the editorial board of Classical Receptions Journal.

I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in ancient Greek language, literature, and thought, as well as GE courses on Classical Mythology (CL 30) and The Fantastic Journey: Antiquity and Beyond (CL 60). In 2017, I was the recipient of UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award, with a special commendation for graduate teaching.

Students interested in pursuing graduate work with me are encouraged to get in touch. You can listen to this interview to learn more about my work, mentoring, and research.


  • BA (Hons) English and Classical Studies, University of Nottingham, UK 1993
  • MA in Classical Studies, University of Nottingham, UK 1995
  • Post-baccalaureate program in Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania 1997
  • PhD in Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2002