Donna Zuckerberg

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Donna Zuckerberg
Portrait of donna zuckerberg.png
Born1987
Dobbs Ferry, New York, United States
NationalityAmerican
OccupationAuthor
Notable workNot all Dead White Men (2018)

Donna Zuckerberg is an American classicist, editor-in-chief of an online journal and author of the book Not All Dead White Men (2018) on the appropriation of classics by misogynist groups on the internet.

Education[edit]

Zuckerberg earned her PhD in classics at Princeton University in 2014, specializing in the study of ancient tragedy.[1][2][3] The title of her doctoral thesis was 'The Oversubtle Maxim Chasers: Aristophanes, Euripides, and their Reciprocal Pursuit of Poetic Identity'.[4] Her doctoral advisor was Professor Andrew Ford.[5] She was the recipient of a 2017-2018 Award for Special Service from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.[6]

Editorship of Eidolon[edit]

The classicist Natalie Haynes notes that Zuckerberg 'is a classicist with a strong internet pedigree'.[7] Zuckerberg is the founder and editor-in-chief of the online journal Eidolon, which publishes texts about classics that are not formal scholarship.[8] Its authors are well-established classicists as well as new experts in the field.[9][3][10] Aside from Eidolon, Zuckerberg's work has been published in numerous popular publications, including the Times Literary Supplement, Jezebel, The Establishment, and Avidly.[11]

In addition to the journal Eidolon, Zuckerberg writes for mainstream publications about the use of the classics by the alt-right movement. In her 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post, she argues that the sexism and racism found in classic texts should be studied and discussed rather than ignored or, as right-wing ideologues are doing, celebrated.[12] Natalie Haynes agrees with Zuckerberg's ideological stance, arguing that 'ignoring these people is no longer the answer.'[13]

Not All Dead White Men[edit]

Zuckerberg's book Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age was published by Harvard University Press in October, 2018. It describes the how the "Red Pill" movement online finds support for its sexist ideology in texts from ancient Greece and Rome, tracing the phenomenon back to its origins and describing its misappropriation of Ovid, Euripides, Xenophon's Oeconomicus and Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. The book touches on the links between the community and the white supremacy movement.[14][9][1][2]

The book also explores the popularity of stoicism within the manosphere. While enthusiasm for stoicism may seem paradoxical among a group that is fueled by anger, Zuckerberg describes how Red Pill men use stoicism to support their belief in a dichotomy between the rational nature of males and the emotional nature of women. Besides, the point of the Red Pill discourse "is not for everything to hang together logically and to be totally immune to criticism. The point is to make people feel something—to make their audience feel validated and justified and scared and angry—and [get] any reaction [out of] them," writes Zuckerberg.[15][3][12]

Her interest in the topic began in 2015 when she realized an article about Ovid in her online magazine Eidolon got heavy traffic from the Red Pill community on Reddit. In the same period, she read an interview with Neil Strauss, who mentioned seduction advice by Ovid. That research interest became a magazine article, then a book.[14][16][15][1][3][2]

The final draft of her book was submitted days before the 2016 United States elections. It then became relevant outside academia, as the grievances of many of the groups she studied entered the political mainstream at the highest level. Zuckerberg says that while her book was in production, the Red Pill movement started to focus more on policing women's reproductive rights, away from the more traditional "men's rights" issues such as child custody.[14][3]

The book has been critically well received. Natalie Haynes reviewed the book positively, concurring with Zuckerberg's conclusions.[17] The classicist Emily Wilson understands that Zuckerburg 'makes a persuasive case for why we need a new, more critical, and less comfortable relationship between the ancient and modern worlds in this important and very timely book'.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Zuckerberg lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Harry and her son Jonah.[11][19] Her parents, Ed and Karen Zuckerberg, lived in Dobbs Ferry, New York, when Donna was born in 1987. Donna says the family was tight-knit and the parents encouraged their children to develop whatever talents they had. All three of her siblings, Mark Zuckerberg, Randi Zuckerberg and Arielle Zuckerberg, work in the technology sector.[14][20]

While she was doing her graduate studies, Zuckerberg wrote a food blog called Sugar Mountain Treats.[20]

Publications[edit]

Monographs[edit]

  • Not All Dead White Men. Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age (Harvard University Press, 2018)

Articles and book chapters[edit]

  • 'The Clothes Make the Man: Aristophanes and the Ragged Hero in Euripides' Helen', Classical Philology, vol. 111, issue 3 (2016)
  • 'Branding Irony: Comedy and Crafting the Public Persona', Brill's companion to the reception of Aristophanes edited by Philip Walsh (Leiden: Brill, 2016)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fetters, Ashley (October 10, 2018). "Why Pickup Artists Are Reading Ovid". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Zuckerberg, Donna (October 8, 2018). "So I Wrote a Thing". Eidolon. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ryan Stitt (October 7, 2018). "Special Guest Episode on Classics and Misogyny w/Donna Zuckerberg". The History of Ancient Greece Podcast (Podcast). Ryan Stitt. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  4. ^ "The oversubtle maxim chasers : Aristophanes, Euripides, and their Reciprocal Pursuit of Poetic Identity. - Princeton University Library Catalog". catalog.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  5. ^ "The oversubtle maxim chasers : Aristophanes, Euripides, and their Reciprocal Pursuit of Poetic Identity. - Princeton University Library Catalog". catalog.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  6. ^ "CAMWS Awards for Special Service". CAMWS. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Must Ovid be hijacked by the alt-right? | The Spectator". The Spectator. 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  8. ^ "About EIDOLON". EIDOLON. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  9. ^ a b Rothman, Lily (October 9, 2018). "Why Modern Misogynists Love Ancient History, and What They Get Wrong About It, According to an Expert". Times Magazine. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "About Eilodon". Eilodon. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Zuckerberg, Donna (September 2018). "This Is How I Have It All". Eilodon. Archived from the original on October 28, 2018. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Zuckerberg, Donna (November 2, 2018). "Guess who's championing Homer? Radical online conservatives". Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  13. ^ "Must Ovid be hijacked by the alt-right? | The Spectator". The Spectator. 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  14. ^ a b c d Wanda Merrigan, Tara (October 16, 2018). "Donna Zuckerberg's Not All Dead White Men and Red Pill Reductionism". Ploughshares at Emerson College. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Balcazar, Dahlia (October 8, 2018). "Donna Zuckerberg on how misogyny red-pilled the classics". Bitch Media. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  16. ^ Zuckerberg, Donna (May 26, 2015). "How to Teach an Ancient Rape Joke". Jezebel. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  17. ^ "Must Ovid be hijacked by the alt-right? | The Spectator". The Spectator. 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  18. ^ "Not All Dead White Men — Donna Zuckerberg | Harvard University Press". www.hup.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  19. ^ Zuckerberg, Donna (2018). Not all Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 254. ISBN 9780674975552.
  20. ^ a b Shaer, Matthew (May 6, 2012). "The Zuckerbergs of Dobbs Ferry". New York magazine. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.

External links[edit]