Jessica Paga

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015)


Assistant Professor, Department of Classical Studies, William & Mary


Greek architecture; political history; epigraphy


Jess Paga is a Greek archaeologist whose research focuses on the intersections of architecture and politics.  She received her A.B. from Smith College in 2005, with a double major in Art History and Classics.  While an undergraduate, she studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome, as well as College Year in Athens.  She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2012, from the Art and Archaeology Department.  She was a Regular Member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA) from 2009-2010, and an Associate Member from 2010-2011.

Her research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on the fields of architecture, art history, history, anthropology, religion, and political theory.  Her current research is strongly connected to the built environment and the particular set of problems that arise from the confluence of built forms and political activity.  Her book, tentatively titled Architectural Agency and the Construction of Athenian Democracy, focuses on the symbiotic relationship between the built environment, in the form of monumental civic architecture, and the emergence of democratic governance in ancient Athens.  Against interpretations that label these structures mute receptacles or reflections of political identity and ideology, she argues that the built environment actively shaped both the abstract policy and physical reality of democracy.  By attending to the intersections between the creation of democracy and the coterminous evolution of new architectural idioms, and by identifying a concrete building program implemented by the nascent democracy, her project places architecture at the forefront of the study of Greek material culture, enriching both our understanding of Athenian democracy, in particular, and the relationships between visual articulation and politics more generally. She is an active field archaeologist and has excavated throughout the Greek world, including Athens, Corinth, Cyprus, Argilos, and Samothrace, where she currently serves as the senior archaeologist.

[button link=”” type=”type-1-3″ size=”small” ] Website [/button]         [button link=”” type=”type-1-3″ size=”small” ] Curriculum Vitae [/button]

  • “Deme Theaters in Attica and the Trittys System,” Hesperia 79.3 (2010), pp. 351-384.
  • “The Greek Theater” in Blackwell’s Companion to Greek Architecture, ed. Margaret M. Miles.
  • “Classical Temples,” in Greek Architecture (de Gruyter Reference Series), ed. Monika Truemper
  • “Coordination Problems, Common Knowledge, and Architectural Agency: The Case of the Old Bouleuterion,” Theory in Ancient Greek Archaeology

Ph.D. Princeton University

A.B. Smith College