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Inger N.I. Kuin

Assistant Professor, General Faculty

Office Address: B007 Cocke Hall

Research Interests

Inger Kuin works on the intellectual history of ancient Greece and Rome, with a focus on the Roman East in the first and second centuries CE. She is interested in the intersections during this period between religion, popular culture, and philosophy. Kuin is working on a monograph on religious disbelief and atheism in the Roman Empire as it appears across Greek and Latin texts written both by non-Christian and Christian authors. In 2023 her book Lucian’s Laughing Gods: Religion, Philosophy, and Popular Culture in the Roman East was published by University of Michigan PressIn 2022 her book (in Dutch) Diogenes. Leven en denken van een autonome geest was published by Athenaeum – Polak & Van Gennep, and it was awarded with the 2023 Homer Prize for the book that "bridges classical antiquity and the present most successfully". She has also published an introduction to ancient religion in Dutch titled Leven met goden. Religie in de oudheid (Amsterdam University Press, 2018). Kuin has co-authored and co-edited several volumes, and she has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on imperial Greek historiography, Latin epigraphy, and ancient philosophy. She is a regular contributor to Dutch newspapers and magazines, and she serves as the editor of the Zenobia book series published by Amsterdam University Press.



2023. Lucian’s Laughing Gods: Religion, Philosophy, and Popular Culture in the Roman East. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

2023. Muze, vertel. De Griekse en Latijnse literatuur van de oudheid. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam (co-authored with J.J.H. Klooster; C.L. Caspers; B. van der Velden).

2022. Diogenes. Leven en denken van een autonome geest. Athenaeum – Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam.

2022. Documentality: New Approaches to Written Documents in Imperial Life and Literature. De Gruyter, Berlin (co-edited with J. Arthur-Montagne. S.J. De Giulio).

2022. De huid van Cleopatra. Etniciteit en diversiteit in oudheidstudies. Uitgeverij Verloren, Hilversum (co-edited with E. Huig; M. Liebregts).

2020. After the Crisis: Remembrance, Re-anchoring, and Recovery in Ancient Greece and Rome. Bloomsbury Press, London (co-edited with J.J.H. Klooster).

2018. Leven met de goden. Religie in de oudheid. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam.

2017. Strategies of Remembering in Greece Under Rome (100 BC - 100 AD). Sidestone Press, Leiden (co-edited with T.M. Dijkstra; M. Moser; D. Weidgenannt).


Articles and chapters

2022. ‘Cities Full of Words: Illiteracy and Epigraphy in Lucian of Samosata,’ in J. Arthur-Montagne; S.J. DiGiulio; I.N.I. Kuin (eds.), Documentality: New Approaches to Written Documents in Imperial Life and Literature. De Gruyter, Berlin: 107–132.

2021. ‘Laughter in Lucian’s Utopias of the Dead,’ in P. Destrée; J. Opsomer; G. Roskam (eds.), Utopias in Ancient Thought. De Gruyter, Berlin, 255–276.

2020. ‘Deaf to the Gods: Atheism in Plutarch’s De superstitione,’ in R. Hirsch-Luipold; F.L. Roig Lanzillotta (eds.), Plutarch’s Religious Landscapes. Brill, Leiden, 39–56.

2019. ‘Diogenes vs. Demonax: Laughter as Philosophy in Lucian,’ in P. Destrée; F. Trivigno (eds.), Laughter in Ancient Philosophy. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 263—284.

2019. ‘Competition and Innovation in Aristotle, Politics 2,’ in C. Pieper; C.Damon (eds.), Eris vs. Aemulatio: Competition in Classical Antiquity. Brill, Leiden, 120—140.

2018. ‘Sulla and the Invention of Roman Athens,’ Mnemosyne 71.4, 616—639.

2017. Rewriting Family History: Strabo and the Mithridatic Wars,’ Phoenix 71.1/2: 102118.

2017. Unseen and Unharmed: A Case Study in Understanding Opisthographic Epitaphs,’ Classical Quarterly 67.2, 573—582.

2017. ‘Being a Barbarian: Lucian and Otherness in the Second Sophistic,’ Groniek 211, 131143.

See for a full list of publications, and for more information about Kuin’s public scholarship.



Kuin completed her Ph.D. in classics at New York University, after obtaining master's degrees in philosophy and journalism at the University of Amsterdam. Before coming to UVA, she taught at Dartmouth College and the University of Groningen. Kuin regularly teaches courses in both Latin and Greek literature at the intermediate and advanced levels, as well as classical studies courses. She serves as a College Fellow for the 2022-2024 cohort, teaching Engagements on ancient and modern laugher, and on ancient philosophy. In her free time she can be seen around Charlottesville on her bike, carrying her cello around, or sometimes in running shoes.