Elena Franchi is Adjunct Professor of Ancient Greek History and History Didactics at the University of Trento, Italy, and Assistant Manager of the Laboratorio di Storia Antica di Trento (LabSA) in the university's Department of Humanities. She received her PhD from the University of Genova, Italy, in 2008 with a thesis on the frontier wars between the Spartans and Argives and the connected rituals (unpublished; supervisor: Prof. Maurizio Giangiulio).
From 2011 to 2013, she was a Von Humboldt fellow at the University of Freiburg, Germany. The subject of her Von Humboldt proposal (and of her first monograph) was the wars between the Thessalians and Phokians and the role they played in the construction of a narrative on the Phokian ethnogenesis (i.e. the role these wars had in the Phokian ethnopoiesis) (supervisor: Prof. Dr. H.-J. Gehrke). In 2012 she obtained a Europa Fellowship to join the archaeological excavations in Kalapodi and Delphi, and to investigate their relevance for the enmities between Phokians, Lokrians and Thessalians.
Since 2011 she has been invited to present papers at internationally established conferences across Europe including London (Institute of Classical Studies), Mannheim (Historisches Institut, Alte Geschichte), Aberystwyth (Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David), Bergen (Department of Social Anthropology), Nottingham (Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies), Regensburg (Klassikzentrum), Strasbourg (Institut d’histoire grecque), Münster (Seminar für Alte Geschichte), Freiburg (Seminar für Alte Geschichte), Munich (Abteilung Alte Geschichte), Athens (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut-École française d'Athènes ), Rome (Sapienza University of Rome: Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Antichità; Tor Vergata: Dipartimento di storia, patrimonio culturale, formazione e società), and Trento (Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia).
In 2016 she published her first monograph, entitled Die Konflikte zwischen Thessalern und Phokern. Krieg und Identität in der griechischen Erinnerungskultur des 4. Jahrhunderts (Munich). In the following year she received the National Scientific Habilitation as Associate Professor.
Her interests include ancient Greek history, archaeology and epigraphy, with a special focus on intertstate relations, frontier wars, ethnogenesis, memory studies. Her research and publications also focus on historiography (especially Herodotus and Thucydides), speeches (especially Demosthenes and Aeschines), the periegetic genre (especially Pausanias), and Plutarch.