Professor Marianne McDonald was trained in classics and music, taught for many years at the University of California, Irvine, and is now Professor of Classics and Theatre at the University of California, San Diego. She is best known for her work on ancient Greek drama and mythology. With her early publications, she initiated the field of modern versions of ancient classics in film, plays, and opera. Her poems, plays, and translations have also been widely published. Her latest book is Space, Time, and Silence: The Craft of Athol Fugard.
She is a committed teacher; many of her graduates now are known for their work, teaching, and publications.
Dr. McDonald founded two projects that have revolutionized studies in classics and Irish literature, about which she lectures nationally and internationally. The first is the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, a computer project that makes available most of Greek literature up to the Byzantine period; the second is a similar project begun for the
history of the Irish language and its literature (Thesaurus Linguarum
Hiberniae). She also helped shape the Japanese Studies program at UCSD. In addition, she is the founder of the renowned McDonald Center at Sharp Hospital, whose success rate is among the highest in the nation in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse.
She has many international awards and doctorates. She also is one of the few women to have been elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy. She has six children, nine grandchildren, a black belt in karate, and plays classical piano and harp.