Associate Professor of Classics & Chair
You could say that I am a bit of an "accidental Classicist." Although I was always a voracious reader and wanted to be a teacher ever since my seventh grade social studies teacher let me teach an occasional class, it was only in college, when I took a course on Latin literature in translation, that I discovered Latin and Greek and was bewitched by Classical literature and culture. Classics has been called the first interdisciplinary major, and it is exactly this range and diversity of inquiry that I find so appealing. Now I have the privilege to spend my days discussing great works of art, thorny questions of the human condition, and fascinating moments of our shared history—not to mention helping students learn the languages that will allow them to fully appreciate both the art and cultures of antiquity. Bonam Vitam!
B.A., Wesleyan University
Ph.D., Brown University
My scholarship focuses on the twilight of classical culture, the period now known as "Late Antiquity." One of the first things I learned about Rome was that it "fell" and it is this period—when massive political, ethnic, and religious change transformed Roman societythat continues to draw my curiosity. In particular I'm interested in the adaptive strategies taken by authors when they must contend with a frightening accumulation of tradition, a cultural moment that has many similarities with our own age. The engagement of late antique authors with their artistic predecessors allows me to dabble in the full range of Classical antiquity. And since this period was also when much of Classical culture was packaged for transmission through the medieval period to us, it also serves as an ideal jumping off-point for my interest in the Classical Tradition and the continuing influence of Classical culture.
- The Poetry of Ennodius (an annotated translation of the poetry by the sixth century bishop and saint)
- The Poetics of Claudian’s Carmina Minora (a book on the playful short poems of "the last pagan poet of Rome")
- Claudian Reads Statius, for the Blackwell-Wiley Companion to Flavian Epic
- Obscenity in the Ancient Greek and Roman Epigram, for the Blackwell-Wiley Companion to Ancient Epigram
- (under contract, 2015).
- Minor Poetry in Late Antiquity, for the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Late Antique Literature
- After Cato Left the Theater: Performative Masculinity in Catullus 56.
- Drunken Poets and Fallen Philosophers: Gout as a Metaphoric Disease in Antiquity (a substantial article that traces the construction and stigmatization of the disease in antiquity, and its implications on the readings of "gouty" texts)
Select Recent Publications
- Life of Hannibal by Cornelius Nepos: Introduction, Text, and Commentary (Dickinson College Commentaries, Summer 2013).
- Coniuratio! Ethopoeia and Reacting to the Past in the Latin Classroom (and Beyond), (Classical Journal 109.3, Feb/Mar 2014).
- Translation and the Poetics of Replication in the Late Antique Latin Epigram, in The Living Past: Recasting the Ancients in Late Latin Poetry (forthcoming, Winter Verlag, 2014).
- Infusing Theory into the Undergraduate Classics Curriculum: Examples from Haverford’s “Senior Seminar” and “History of Literary Theory” (with Robert Germany and Deborah Roberts, forthcoming, Classical World, 2014)
- Gout, Beasts, and Other Metaphorical Punishments in AP 11.226–31 (forthcoming, Mnemosyne, 2014).
- Bad Scorpion: Cacemphaton and Readership in Martial's Ligurinus Cycle (Classical World, 2013)
- Animal Play: Bilingual Onomastics and the Arrangement of Statius Silvae 2, (Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History 16, 2012).
- Ἱερὸς Argus: Bilingual Wordplay in Statius Silvae 5.4.12 (Mnemosyne 64 (2011): 471–80).
- Meditations on a Taut but Happy Class, Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education 2 (2011).