Lena Barsky (she/her/hers) is a Critical Ancient World Studies scholar based in Arlington, Virginia.
In July 2021 Lena earned her Masters of Philosophy in Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature at Oxford University (St Anne’s College). Her MPhil dissertation, “Necropolitics in Ovid,” uses a necropolitical framework based in the work of Achille Mbembe, Giorgio Agamben, and Jasbir Puar to read the Minyeides episode of Metamorphoses 4. She examines how necropolitics can help us understand Pyramus and Thisbe’s myth to be a story about racialized difference and Augustan inheritance laws, and how Hermaphroditus and Salmacis’ transformation from two singular gender non-conforming beings into a third, individual gender non-conforming being might actually exemplify a kind of biopolitical futurity. If you’d like to read this work, please email Lena and she will happily share!
In 2014, Lena graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics-Latin, magna cum laude and with honors. In her senior thesis “Mater, Cyrene Mater: Rethinking Narrative in Virgil’s Georgics 4.325-558,” she used a feminist lens to explore narrative structure, female power, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and the production of art as equatable to other types of labor in the world of the Georgics.
Previously, Lena worked for four years at Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. She served as Director of Program Management & Media and, prior to that, Program Manager for the National Judicial Education Program, which educates judges, attorneys, and justice system professionals about gender bias, sexual assault, and the intersection of sexual assault and domestic violence. Lena has also analyzed election data and researched redistricting at the National Committee for an Effective Congress, covered Supreme Court news for the Brown Political Review, and served on two editorial boards of the Brown Classical Journal. She is also the author of CAPS LOCK, a sporadically published e-mail newsletter that started out as one thing and has morphed into something else entirely.