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I am a Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. My scholarly work focuses on Ancient Greek theories of complex emotions, including the fear of death, grief, patriotism, and comedic malice.


I am also the author of Living for Pleasure: an Epicurean Guide to Life, published by Oxford University Press. Written for a non-academic audience, it shows how Epicurean philosophy can help us navigate the challenges of modern life. It's been reviewed in The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, and other outlets.


I grew up in Arkansas, where I attended Little Rock Central High and graduated from Hendrix College. I earned my doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009.

You can contact me at

In Living for Pleasure, philosopher Emily Austin offers a lively, jargon-free tour of Epicurean strategies for diminishing anxiety, achieving satisfaction, and relishing joys. Epicurean science was famously far ahead of its time, and Austin shows that so was its ethics and psychology. Epicureanism can help us make and keep good friends, prepare for suffering, combat imposter syndrome, build trust, recognize personal limitations, value truth, cultivate healthy attitudes towards money and success, manage political anxiety, develop gratitude, savor food, and face death.

"Austin shows us, vividly and directly, how Epicurean ideas can apply to areas of everyday life and how they can help us uncover-and deal with-deep seated problems that stand in the way of living a balanced, thoughtful, and enjoyable life. She does a stellar job of showing us, incisively and sympathetically, that Epicurus gives us a philosophy to live by and that we can actually live by it." --JULIA ANNAS, Regents Professor Emerita, Univ. of Arizona 

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