Rachel Lesser

Associate Professor




Campus Box 0394


Weidensall Hall
Room 201
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


BA Columbia University, 2006
BA Magdalen College, Oxford University, 2008
MA University of California, Berkeley, 2009
PhD University of California, Berkeley, 2015

Academic Focus

Homer, Greek and Latin poetry, gender and sexuality studies, critical theory

Professor Lesser teaches courses in Greek and Latin language and literature, Greek history, and gender and sexuality in ancient Greece. Her primary research interests are in Greek poetry and culture, and she uses a variety of modern critical theories and approaches in her work. She focuses particularly on desire, gender, and narrative in early Greek poetry, and her first book, Desire in the Iliad: The Force That Moves the Epic and Its Audience, was published by Oxford University Press in 2022. She is also interested in the modern reception of the classics. She is currently working on projects on queer and straight time in Homeric epic and on the representation of Briseis in the Iliad, Ovid's Heroides 3, and Pat Barker's novel The Silence of the Girls. Professor Lesser joined the faculty of Gettysburg College in Fall 2016.

Courses Taught