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Biographical Info of William Johnson

William A. Johnson works broadly in the cultural history of Greece and Rome, with particular interest in ancient books, readers, and reading, and with a general interest in how literary pursuits intersect with cultural context in antiquity. He has lectured and published on Plato, Hesiod, Herodotus, Pliny (both Elder and Younger), Gellius, Lucian and on a variety of topics relating to books and readers, both ancient and modern. Some prominent and illustrative examples: "Towards a Sociology of Reading" (American Journal of Philology, 2000), winner of the Gildersleeve Prize; "Reading cultures, Technology, and Education" (in Reading between the Lines, Yale University Press, 2003); his book on the book, Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus, a close study of the artefactual remains of over 400 papyrus bookrolls (University of Toronto Press, 2004); Ancient Literacies, an edited volume exploring new approaches to the topic (Oxford University Press, 2009); and his recent Readers and Reading Culture in the High Empire, a study of elite reading communities under Trajan and the Antonines (Oxford University Press, 2010). Other work has focused on ancient music; he produced the editio princeps for two of the very rare papyrus documents containing ancient Greek music (see He teaches a wide range of Greek and Latin topics to undergraduate and graduate audiences; graduate seminars have included studies of literary papyri, Herodotus, Plato, Hesiod, Lucian, Pliny the Younger, Ancient Libraries, and Roman Villa Culture.

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