After receiving her doctorate from the University of Chicago, Nancy Rabinowitz began publishing on ancient Greek tragedy as well as modern literature. She has written two books, Anxiety Veiled (1993, Cornell) and Greek Tragedy (2008, Wiley and Blackwell), in addition to co-editing many others, most recently From Abortion to Pederasty: Teaching Difficult Topics in the Classics Classroom (2014, Ohio State University Press) and Sex in Antiquity: Exploring Sexuality and Gender in the Ancient World (2015, Routledge). In recent years, Rabinowitz has been an active member of the Hamilton Oneida Prison Education project, in which she teaches at Marcy Correctional Facility. She has presented her work teaching classics in prison at conferences and in print. Rabinowitz takes her inspiration from Rhodessa Jones’ Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women/HIV Circle. She began teaching at Kirkland College and joined the Hamilton faculty in 1978.
When forced into an academic self-definition, Rabinowitz describes himself as a narrative theorist with a strong interest in music. In fact, though, beyond his partiality for the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, he prefers to think of himself as a committed non-specialist. He has rarely written on the same author or composer twice, and even the few exceptions (Raymond Chandler, Shostakovich, Dostoevsky) hardly fall into any logical pattern. His interests range broadly, from Proust to hard-boiled fiction, from ragtime to opera, from Chekhov to the nearly forgotten E.D.E.N. Southworth. He is the author of Before Reading: Narrative Conventions and The Politics of Interpretation (1987); co-author (with Michael Smith) of Authorizing Readers: Resistance and Respect in the Teaching of Literature (1998); co-author (with James Phelan, David Herman, Brian Richardson and Robyn Warhol) of Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (2012); and co-editor (with Phelan) of Understanding Narrative (1994) and A Companion to Narrative Theory (2005). Rabinowitz's academic essays have appeared in a wide variety of books and journals, including PMLA, Critical Inquiry, Black Music Research Journal and 19th-Century Music. Rabinowitz is also co-editor of the Ohio State University Press Series on Theory and Interpretation of Narrative. As a music critic, he writes extensively in non-academic venues as well. He is a contributing editor of Fanfare and was a regular contributor to International Record Review from its first issue to its last.