Professor King received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University in 1978 after first earning an M.A. in Greek from Columbia University. She holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Classics and Comparative Literature.
King’s seminars on Epic, Greek tragedy, and the Classical tradition utilize feminist theory and cultural criticism. Her main interest is in why and how a writer manipulates myth and important cultural texts for ideological purposes.
In 1987, King published Achilles: Paradigms of the War Hero from Homer to the Middle Ages. She edited Homer (1994), a collection of essays on the influence of Homer from the Middle Ages to the 1990’s. Professor King has also published essays on the classical tradition that focus on such diverse twentieth-century authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Marguerite Yourcenar. King is currently working on “Imaginary Women,” a cross-cultural analysis of some archetypal women in classical Greek (e.g., Helen, Medea, and Penthesilea) and modern American cultures, and on an introduction to Greek and Latin epic.
She has served on the editorial board of Viator, a journal of Medieval and Renaissance literature. She has also been a member of the Committee on the Status of Women and Minorities in the American Philological Association and has Chaired the UCLA Committee on Diversity and Equal Opportunity. Professor King received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993.