As Professor in the Classics Department at MU, Daniel Hooley’s research includes Roman poetry, the classical tradition, and translation studies, about which he has written three books, including his most recent, Roman Satire (2006). Hooley first became interested in studying the classics through an “accidental journey,” studying the western classics as an English and Humanities graduate student at the University of Minnesota, where he focused his studies on modernism and wrote his dissertation on how Latin poetry was translated by American modernists such as Ezra Pound or T.S. Eliot. The dissertation became his first book, The Classics in Paraphrase: Ezra Pound and Modern Translators of Latin Poetry (1988).
While Hooley’s first book focused on Latin translations, his second book, The Knotted Thong: Structures of Mimesis in Persius (1997), is a study of Roman satire—namely of Persius, one of the three major Roman satirists. Hooley was drawn to this man and his work partly because Persius was considered such a “strange guy.” Satire, Hooley says, “fosters all those things that are healthy for the human spirit—it makes us laugh at silly things and sometimes makes us laugh at things that are egregious and wrong.”