Kyle Khellaf is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Classics. His research focuses primarily on Greco-Roman historiography and explores how ancient historical accounts and their non-linear teleologies emerged in response to broader historical phenomena. His current book project, The Paratextual Past: Digression in Classical Historiography, examines how digressions played a central role in the development of historiography and were eventually recognized as a historical tradition in their own right. It also explores the ways in which these embedded narratives open up histories and the canonical events they depict to a range of dialogic perspectives in the wake of imperial expansion and its complications. These include ethnographic encounters with foreign peoples; accounts of migration, transculturation, and settlement across the broader Mediterranean landscape; the liminal “Middle Sea,” with its numerous histories of colonization and the resulting paradoxographical encounters that unfold in its fluid spaces; as well as stories of slave rebellions and their leaders whose voices, were it not for the digression, would remain eclipsed by the “great men” of history.
Kyle’s other research and teaching interests include Greek and Roman poetry (especially Latin elegy and Greek epinician), ancient and modern empires, the problematic legacies of classical receptions (particularly in the colonial and postcolonial Maghreb), and the applications of Postwar French theory to the classical world.
Special Journal Issues
Guest editor for a special double issue of Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature, entitled Deterritorializing Classics: Deleuze, Guattari, and Antiquity (Ramus 49, 2020).
Articles and Book Chapters:
“Migration and Mobile Memory in the Roman Historical Digression.” In Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography. Ed. Aske Damtoft Poulsen and Arne Jönssen. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2021. 262-97.
“Classical Nomadologies.” Ramus 49 (2020), 1-40.
“The Elegiac Revolution: Deleuze, Desire, and Propertius’ Monobiblos.” In Psychology and the Classics: A Dialogue of Disciplines. Ed. Jeroen Lauwers, Hedwig Schwall , and Jan Opsomer. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter (July 2018), 171-88 Berlin and New York: Walter De Gruyter, 2018. 171-88.
“Incomplete and Disconnected: Polybius, Digression, and Its Historiographical Afterlife.” In Polybius and His Legacy. Ed. Nikos Miltsios and Melina Tamiolaki. Berlin and New York: Walter De Gruyter, 2018. 167-201.
Six entries on “Battle of Mons Graupius,” “Brigantes,” “Calgacus,” “digressions,” “(Publius) Ostorius Scapula,” and “Usipi.” In The Tacitus Encyclopedia. Ed. Victoria E. Pagan. Chichester, Malden, and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (Forthcoming, 2022).
“Do Philologists Dream of Oedipus Rex?” Review essay of Lev Kenaan, Vered. The Ancient Unconscious: Psychoanalysis and the Ancient Text. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Available online in Syndicate (2021).
Review of Galtier, Fabrice. L’Image tragique de l’Histoire chez Tacite: Étude des schèmes tragiques dans les Histories et les Annales. Brussels: Collection Latomus, 2011. In Classical Review 64 (2014): 151-53.