Barbara Goff

Barbara Elizabeth Goff is a Classics Professor at the University of Reading.[1] She is well known for her contribution to the classics world in relation to her interests in Greek tragedy and its reception; women in antiquity; postcolonial classics and reception of Greek political thought.[2][3]

Barbara Goff
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge, University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisorDonald Mastronarde
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Reading
Notable worksCitizen Bacchae: women's ritual practice in ancient Greece


Goff undertook her undergraduate degree at King's College Cambridge. She later completed her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley on Euripides' Hippolytus supervised by Donald Mastronade, publishing the work as The Noose of Words: Readings of Desire, Violence and Language in Euripides' Hippolytus in 1990.[4]


After her first job as a Junior Research Fellow at Kings College Cambridge, Goff has worked in different institutions all over the world including the University of Texas at Austin, during which time Goff held a Solmsen Fellowship at the Institute for Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.[5][6]

Goff moved to the University of Reading first as a Reader in Classics, subsequently becoming Professor of Classics.[6][1] She leads modules focusing on ancient drama, ancient Greek language, ancient sport, and sexuality and gender in the ancient world.[1][7]

Goff's work on classical reception has led to lectures and publications on classical education and reception in west Africa,[8][9][10] including participation in the founding of the Classical Association of Ghana in 2018.[3]

Research groups and centresEdit

At the University of Reading Goff is a member of the Ancient Literature and Classical Tradition and Reception groups in the Department of Classics.[11]

Goff is a member of the Ancient and Modern Imperialisms Network, based in Reading and helps to run the Legacy of Greek Political Thought Network,[12] based in Reading, and is an executive committee member of the Classical Reception Studies Network, based at the Open University.[13]

Goff is on the international editorial boards of the Classical Receptions Journal (OUP)[14] and of Elektra (University of Patras)[15] and is on the Advisory Board of the AHRC project 'Classics and Class', based in King's College London.[16][17] She also works with the Iris Project to promote classical education.[18]



  • Goff, B. (1990) The Noose of Words: Readings of Desire, Violence and Language in Euripides' Hippolytus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.[19] ISBN 0-521-36397-7
  • Goff, B. (ed.) (1995) History, Tragedy, Theory: Dialogues on Athenian Drama (University of Texas Press)[20][21]
  • Goff, B. (2004) Citizen Bacchae: women's ritual practice in ancient Greece. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles[22][23][24][25]ISBN 9780520239982
  • Goff, B. (ed.) (2005) Classics and Colonialism. Bloomsbury.[26] ISBN 9780715633113
  • Goff, B. and Simpson, M. (2007) Crossroads in the Black Aegean: Oedipus, Antigone and dramas of the African Diaspora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.[9] ISBN 9780199217182
  • Goff, B. (2009) Euripides: Trojan Women. Duckworth companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy. Duckworth, London. ISBN 9780715635452
  • Goff, B. (2013) 'Your secret language': classics in the British colonies of West Africa. Classical Diaspora. Bloomsbury Academic, London.[10] ISBN 9781780932057


  • Goff, B. (2006) Dionysiac triangles: the politics of culture in Wole Soyinka's The Bacchae of Euripides. In: Pedrick, V. and Oberhelman, S. (eds.) The soul of Tragedy: essays on ancient Athenian drama and its contexts. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 73–88. ISBN 9780226653068
  • Goff, B. E. (2006) Antigone's Boat: the colonial and the postcolonial in "Tegonni: an African Antigone" by Femi Osofisan. In: Adeyemi, S. (ed.) Portraits for an eagle: essays in honour of Femi Osofisan. Bayreuth African Studies, Germany, pp. 111–121. ISBN 9783927510951
  • Goff, B. E. (2007) Classical subjects and modern subjectivities: introduction. Helios, 34 (2). pp. 121–123. ISSN 1935-0228
  • Goff, B. (2007) Antigone's boat: the colonial and the postcolonial in Tegonni: an African Antigone, by Femi Osofisan. In: Hardwick, L. and Gillespie, C. (eds.) Classics in postcolonial worlds. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 40–53. ISBN 9780199296101
  • Goff, B. (2007) Improvising on the Athenian stage: women's ritual practices in drama. In: Parca, M. and Tzanetou, A. (eds.) Finding Persephone: women's rituals in the ancient Mediterranean. Studies in ancient folklore and popular culture. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, pp. 79–91. ISBN 9780253219381
  • Goff, B. (2008) The priestess of Athena grows a beard: latent citizenship in Ancient Greek women's ritual practice. In: Pollock, G. and Turvey-Sauron, V. (eds.) The sacred and the feminine: imagination and sexual difference. New encounters: arts, cultures, concepts. I B Tauris & Co. Ltd, London, pp. 49–60. ISBN 9781845115210
  • Goff, B. E. (2010) Sons of the shield: paternal arms in epic and tragedy. In: Mitsis, P. and Tsagalis, C. (eds.) Allusion, authority, and truth: critical perspectives on Greek poetic and rhetorical praxis. De Gruyter, Berlin, Germany and New York City, pp. 219–233. ISBN 9783110245394
  • Goff, B. (2011) Response to Tzanetou and Vinh. In: Carter, D. (ed.) Why Athens? a reappraisal of tragic politics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 345–349. ISBN 9780199562329
  • Goff, B. and Simpson, M. (2011) Voice from the Black Box: Sylvain Bemba's 'Black Wedding Candles for Blessed Antigone'. In: Mee, E. B. and Foley, H. P. (eds.) Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage. Classical Presences. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 324–343. ISBN 9780199586196
  • Goff, B. (2011) Thinking the Olympics: the classical tradition and the modern Games. In: Goff, B. and Simpson, M. (eds.) Thinking the Olympics: the classical tradition and the modern Games. Bloomsbury/Bristol Classical Press, London, pp. 1–19. ISBN 9780715639306 doi: 10.5040/9781849667074
  • Goff, B. (2013) Classics in West African education: the rhetoric of colonial commissions. In: Hardwick, L. and Harrison, S. (eds.) Classics in the Modern World: a 'democratic turn'? Classical Presences. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 157–170. ISBN 9780199673926
  • Goff, B. (2013) Ode to sport: poetry and the revived Olympics. Glits-e: a journal of criticism, 3.
  • Goff, B. (2014) Postcolonial translation: theory and practice. In: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics.Brill, Leiden, pp. 122–125. ISBN 9789004225978
  • Goff, B. and Simpson, M. (2015) New worlds, old dreams? Postcolonial theory and reception of Greek drama. In: Bosher, K., Macintosh, F., McConnell, J. and Rankine, P. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 30–50. ISBN 9780199661305 doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199661305.013.00
  • Goff, B. (2015) The Greeks of the WEA.: realities and rhetoric's in the first two decades. In: Stead, H. and Hall, E. (eds.) Greek and Roman Classics in the British Struggle for Social Reform. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 216–234. ISBN 9781472584267
  • Goff, B. and Leonard, M. (2016) Introduction: the legacy of Greek political thought. Classical Receptions Journal, 8 (1).pp. 1–10. ISSN 1759-5142 doi: 10.1093/crj/clv012
  • Goff, B. (2016) All aboard the Bacchae bus: reception of Euripides in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In: McClure, L. K. (ed.) A companion to Euripides.Wiley Blackwell, Malden MA, pp. 565–582. ISBN 9781119257509
  • Goff, B. (2016) The leopard-skin of Heracles: traditional wisdom and untraditional madness in a Ghanaian Alcestis. In: Kyriakou, P. and Rengakos, A. (eds.) Wisdom and Folly in Euripides. Trends in Classics – Supplementary Volumes 31. De Gruyter, pp. 347–364. ISBN 9783110452259
  • Goff, B. (2016) The reception of Greek drama on Africa: ‘A Tradition That Intends To Be Established’. In: Van Zyl Smit, B. (ed.) Handbook to the Reception of Greek Drama. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Goff, B. (2016) Another Oedipus: Leloup's Guéidô. In: Pestell, B., Palazzolo, P. and Burnett, L. (eds.) Translating Myth. Legenda, Oxford. ISBN 9781910887042


  1. ^ a b c "Staff Profile:Professor Barbara Goff". University of Reading. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ Karapanagioti, Niki (2 February 2018). "Daughters of Antigone". The Classics Library. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Classics and Global Humanities: launching the Classical Association of Ghana". CRSN. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  4. ^ Goff, Barbara (25 January 2007). The Noose of Words: Readings of Desire, Violence and Language in Euripides' Hippolytos. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521033237.
  5. ^ Goff, Barbara; Goff, Professor of Classics Department of Classics Barbara (14 June 2004). Citizen Bacchae: Women's Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520239982.
  6. ^ a b Pollock, Griselda; Turvey-Sauron, Victoria (2007). The Sacred and the Feminine: Imagination and Sexual Difference. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781845115210.
  7. ^ "The Sacred and the Feminine: Image, Music, Text, Space". University of Leeds. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Niobe of the Nations, with Barbara Goff". Classics Confidential. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b Simpson, Michael; Goff, Barbara (1 December 2007). Crossroads in the Black Aegean: Oedipus, Antigone, and Dramas of the African Diaspora. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217182.001.0001. ISBN 9780191712388.
  10. ^ a b Lambert, Michael (2013). "Reviewed Work: Your Secret Language: Classics in the British Colonies of West Africa. Classical Diaspora by B. Goff". Acta Classica. 56: 202–209. JSTOR 24592553.
  11. ^ Stead, Henry. "Upcoming Film Season in Reading (Jan–Feb 2017) | Classical Reception Studies Network". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  12. ^ "The Legacy of Greek Political Thought".
  13. ^ People. 25 July 2017 Retrieved 20 June 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Editorial_Board | Classical Receptions Journal | Oxford Academic". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  15. ^ People Retrieved 20 June 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "King's College London – Classics and Class in Britain, 1789–1917". King's College London. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Classics & Class " About us". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  18. ^ "The Iris Project – About Us". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  19. ^ Halleran, Michael R. (1990). "Review of: The Noose of Words: Readings of Desire, Violence and Language in Euripides' Hippolytus". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. ISSN 1055-7660.
  20. ^ Goff, Barbara E. (5 June 1995). History, Tragedy, Theory Dialogues on Athenian Drama Edited and with an introduction by Barbara Goff. ISBN 9780292727793.
  21. ^ Ormand, Kirk (1998). "Review of: History, Tragedy, Theory: Dialogues on Athenian Drama". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. ISSN 1055-7660.
  22. ^ Goff, Barbara (2004). "Citizen Bacchae". Citizen Bacchae: Women's Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece (1 ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 9780520239982. JSTOR 10.1525/j.ctt1pns7d.
  23. ^ Sinos, Rebecca H. (2007). "Citizen Bacchae: Women's Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece – By Barbara Goff". Historian. 69 (2): 376–377. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.2007.00182_51.x. ISSN 1540-6563.
  24. ^ Furley, William D. (2005). "Review of: Citizen Bacchae. Women's Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. ISSN 1055-7660.
  25. ^ McClure, Laura (25 June 2007). "Traces of Power: Recent Books on Women in Antiquity". Journal of Women's History. 19 (2): 184–192. doi:10.1353/jowh.2007.0041. ISSN 1527-2036.
  26. ^ "Classics and Colonialism". Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 20 June 2019.

External linksEdit