Irene Peirano Garrison studied at Oriel College, Oxford (B.A. Hons. Literae Humaniores 2002) and Harvard University (Ph.D. Classical Philology 2007). Before joining Harvard, she was on the faculty of the Classics department at Yale from 2007 to 2020, and served in Archaia (the Yale Program for the Study of Ancient and Premodern Cultures and Societies) and in the Yale Women Faculty Forum.
Professor Peirano Garrison works on Roman poetry and its relation to rhetoric, literary criticism and scholarship, both ancient and modern. She is especially interested in ancient strategies of literary reception, in notions of authorship and authenticity in antiquity and in the history of ancient rhetoric, classical scholarship and classical pedagogy.
Her first book — The Rhetoric of the Roman Fake: Latin Pseudepigrapha in context (CUP, 2012) — sets authorial and chronological fictions in the context of the practices of impersonation and role-play in the literary culture and education of the Imperial period, and explores these works as part of the early reception history of canonical authors such as Virgil, Tibullus and Ovid. Her second book — Persuasion, Rhetoric and Roman Poetry (CUP, 2019) — investigates the boundaries between rhetoric and poetry in the Imperial period. Moving away from the traditional focus on cataloguing “rhetorical” elements in poetic texts, the book explores the construction of poetry in texts such as Seneca the Elder’s Controuersiae and Suasoriae and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria and select responses to these narratives in Roman poetry, and investigates the figure of Vergilius orator in Macrobius, Florus, Servius and Tiberius Claudius Donatus.
She is currently working on a new project on the relation between philology and theology, which examines the creation and deployment of the idiom of “source” and “original” in the history of philology between and across the fields of sacred and secular textual criticism.
Professor Peirano Garrison is the co-editor in chief with Joshua Billings (Princeton) of TAPA, the official journal of the SCS, and is the area editor for Latin Literature of the Oxford Classical Dictionary. She teaches widely in the field of Latin literature, especially Latin poetry and ancient rhetoric and literary criticism. She also teaches courses on authorship and practices of reading and exegesis in Greco-Roman antiquity, comparative antiquities, Classics and literary theory, history of classical pedagogy and scholarship and classical reception. Her service work has often focused on questions of equity, gender and inclusion. She welcomes enquiries from students interested in any of the above. Please use this link to sign up for office hours.