William J. McCarthy, Ph.D. Headshot


  • Greek and Latin
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Biography

    Dr. McCarthy is a specialist in Greek and Latin literature, with an emphasis on the relationship of late antique and patristic literature to its classical models. His articles on Propertius and Prudentius have been published in Hermes (v. 109: 196-206), Vigiliae Christianae (v. 36: 282-86), and Classica et Mediaevalia (v. 40: 213-25); other publications include contributions to Festschriften for R. Meyer (Diakonia, Washington, D.C.,1986) and T. Halton (Nova et Vetera, Washington, D.C. 1998), as well as Rhizoterion, a hypertextual computer program (Duke University Press, 1992).

    Dr. McCarthy’s current research projects focus centrally upon rhetoric, broadly defined: in addition to his ongoing work on the homiletics of John Chrysostom and the reception of Hellenistic poetics by Gregory Nazianzus, he is also engaged in the study of the visual rhetoric of early and modern cinema and its indebtedness to the literary rhetorical patterns established in classical antiquity, and regularly presents at interdisciplinary conferences focused on both literature and film. He also bears a long-term interest in the application of new technologies to the study of literature. At present, he is working on an essay for a collection on madness and insanity in the Patristic period, examining certain concerns of Galen and the pneumatic school of medicine (including pharmacology, diet, and language theory) in conjunction with the evolution of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

    Dr. McCarthy held a university fellowship at Ohio State and a Hochwald endowment fellowship at CUA during his graduate studies before being named adjunct assistant professor in 1984, assistant professor in 1985, and associate professor in 1991. Within the Department of Greek and Latin, he teaches upper-level reading courses in both languages, as well as regularly offering a highly-popular course entitled "The Ancient World in Cinema."