My interests are in archaic and classical Greek literature, both prose and poetry, from Homer through Aristotle. Though I am always interested in delineating the specific formal and aesthetic features of ancient works, I approach texts through what I call literary history, which I conceive broadly to include the material, institutional and poetological contexts within which works of art emerge and are received.

My first book, Homer: the poetry of the past, set out the idea of poetry in Homeric epic, setting the poems' statments about song and singers in the light of traditonal oral performance traditions of early Greece. My next book, The Origins of Criticism, then followed up the story through the classical age and the fourth century in partoicular, when I argued that Greek criticism fully assumed for the first time the aims, vocabulary and conceptual apparatus that made it useful for the Romans and still useful today. Most recently, I have been integrating my knowedge of the state of criticism in a given period and place with works of art from thsat place, as in Aristotle as Poet and articles on choral odes of Euripides' Helen and on the "new" dithyramb (forthcoming). Classical lyric, along with Homer, bulks large in my current research.