In the 2022 Prentice lecture, ‘The Moon and the Map in the Ancient World,’ Karen ní Mheallaigh, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classics at Johns Hopkins University, charted the long history of our fascination with the moon. Through a series of close readings of Lucian, Plutarch and other ancient thinkers, she unraveled an ancient phenomenology in which the moon was understood as an “optical prosthesis” that could supplement earthly vision and enhance the numinosity of space.
The Society of Fellows is very much delighted to announce that Yelena Baraz, the Kennedy Foundation Professor of Latin Language and Literature and Professor of Classics, has been appointed as its faculty director, beginning in fall 2023. She is to succeed Michael D. Gordin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, who has led the Society since 2017.
In 2022, the third year of the SCS Erich S. Gruen Prize, the selection committee received 18 submissions from graduate students across North America treating aspects of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. The committee was impressed by the papers’ quality and range of disciplinary perspectives, methodologies, types of evidence, and time periods across the multicultural ancient world.
The Harold W. Dodds Fellowship was established in 1957 by an anonymous donor to provide a fellowship fund in honor of Harold Dodds, fifteenth president of Princeton. The fellowship recognizes exceptional students in their later years of study.
This year, the annual Fagles lecture was delivered by theater director and MacArthur “genius” grant winner Luis Alfaro. Alfaro, one of the most inventive adapters of Greek tragedy for the modern stage, is known for plays and performances including Mojada, a retelling of Euripides’s Medea set in Los Angeles, Oedipus El Rey, a Chicano retelling of Oedipus Rex, and Electricidad, based on Sophocles’ Electra.
The American Historical Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 2022 prizes, to be awarded at the AHA’s 136th annual meeting, which will take place in Philadelphia from January 5–8, 2023.
The AHA offers annual prizes honoring exceptional books, distinguished teaching and mentoring in the classroom, public history, and other historical projects. Since 1896, the Association has conferred over 1,000 awards. This year’s finalists were selected from a field of over 1,300 entries by nearly 150 dedicated prize committee members. The names, publications, and projects of those who received these awards are a catalog of the best work produced in the historical discipline.
Theater director and MacArthur “genius” grant winner Luis Alfaro will deliver Princeton’s 2022-2023 Robert Fagles Lecture for Classics in the Contemporary Arts. Alfaro works in theater, performance, poetry and journalism, and is known for plays and performances including three adaptations of ancient Greek dramas: Mojada, a retelling of Medea set in Los Angeles, Oedipus El Rey, a Chicano retelling of Oedipus Rex, and Electricidad, based on Sophocles’ Electra.
A daylong demonstration of medieval-style smelting, the workshop showcased an iron-producing technique that began in the Iron Age, persisted through the Classical World and the Middle Ages to Colonial America. It is also a tradition that has been intentionally preserved by smiths in West Africa, where the unique type of iron it produces holds cultural importance. Dr. Andrew Welton, a medieval archaeologist specializing in early medieval Britain, hazarded the 16-hour drive from the University of Florida, where he teaches, to lead the demonstration. The event, as part of a guest lecture for CLA247 “The Science of Roman History,” was hosted by the Environmental History Lab in Medieval Studies and co-sponsored by the Humanities Council, the Council on Science and Technology, the Department of Art & Archaeology, the Program in Archaeology, and the Department of Classics.
Emma Treadway ('22) used her senior thesis to explore how some of the basic tenets of Stoicism — a school of philosophy that dates from 300 BCE — can help address problems in K-12 public education. She examines how an emphasis on social and emotional learning, as opposed to purely academic learning, “when combined with a Stoic twist,” can teach students to engage empathetically with the world and address in the classroom inequalities that disproportionately harm children of color, girls and children with disabilities.
We are pleased to announce that Sebastian Hayden, Class of 2024, is the winner of the Stinnecke Prize in 2022. The Stinnecke Exam Award prize is given to the sophomore or junior who passes the best examination based on the Odes of Horace, Eclogues of Vergil, and the Latin Grammar and Prosody, as well as the Anabasis of Xenophon or Plato’s Euthyphro, Crito, Apology and Phaedo and the Greek Grammar.
Classics graduate student Katherine Dennis has won a teaching award for her significant contribution to undergraduate teaching at Princeton. Each year, the Graduate School honors those graduate students who have gone above and beyond in their teaching work. Congratulations, Katherine!
On the evening of Thursday, April 18th, Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge University) delivered the 2022 Prentice Lecture, entitled “Galen on Race, Health and Disease: Medicine and Empire in the Roman World.” This informative and wide-ranging talk, presenting part of Dr. Flemming’s research for a forthcoming book on medicine and empire, engaged issues of relevance to everyone doing work in Classics today.
This year’s annual Fagles Lecture was delivered in conjunction with the English department’s 17th Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture. Award-winning author Kamila Shamsie, a British-Pakistani novelist best-known for Home Fire, her extraordinary retelling of Sophocles’s Antigone, guided a rapt audience of students and professors through an array of topics including art history, ancient India, colonial education and literary fiction as part of a talk titled 'Antigone of Pakistan: Narrative Violence and the Impossibility of Homecoming’.
The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures were established in 1981 with funding from the Ford Foundation. These lectures recognize persons of outstanding achievement who have contributed to the understanding of African and African American life, history, and culture. Previous speakers have included Danielle Allen, K. Anthony Appiah, Homi K. Bhabha, Hazel Carby, Stephen L. Carter, Stuart Hall, Michael Hanchard, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Glenn C. Loury, Julianne Malveaux, Manning Marable, John McWhorter, Sidney Mintz, Brent Staples, and Cornel West.
Shivaike Shah, founder of Khameleon Productions and Visiting Artist at Brown University, delivered a talk on Princeton’s campus the evening of Thursday, February 24th, as part of his countrywide “Uprooting Medea” tour.
Award-winning author Kamila Shamsie will deliver Princeton’s 2022 Robert Fagles Lecture for Classics in conjunction with the Department of English's 17th Annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture. Shamsie is the author of several novels including Broken Verses (2005), Burnt Shadows (2009) and Home Fire (2017), which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Home Fire won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2018.
Dan-El Padilla Peralta's Divine Institutions was recently announced as co-winner of the CAMWS (Classical Association of the Middle West and South) First Book Award.
A dark screen transforms into a cosmic expanse as a meteoric sculpture scrolls into view. The 3D image of the sculpture is replaced with words from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1969 film, Medea: “A vessel full of knowledge that is not mine.” The words seem like a perfect commentary on the video-art, which a roomful of Princeton students watch, hushed. They also speak to the pedagogical method used by Classics Professor Brooke Holmes to teach Euripides’s Medea by introducing students to different modern adaptations.
Princeton Classics professors Johannes Haubold and Barbara Graziosi teamed up with a group of international scholars and graduate students to write a paper on the exegetical scholia to Homer's Iliad. Their paper argues that reading textual criticism and interpretive scholarship together can shed new light on the text itself.
Cambridge University Press Releases Empire and Religion in the Roman World, Edited by Princeton Classics professor Harriet Flower.
Princeton Classics professor Marc Domingo Gygax will join Oxford's Corpus Christi college as a visiting research fellow this year.
Ge’ez, or Classical Ethiopic, is one of the ancient world’s major literary languages, with two millennia of history in the Horn of Africa and Arabia. The language appears in many ancient inscriptions and in Jewish and Christian writings, even shaping the language of the Qur’an and early Muslim religious texts. It continues to live on today as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox churches.
The Classics department welcomes our newest faculty member, Emily Greenwood, who will join Princeton as a Professor in both Classics and the University Center for Human Values. Her work spans Greek literature and language, reception studies, intellectual history, postcolonial studies and Black studies. Her vast expertise on the Classical world and its continuing influences today make her an important addition to the department.
Is strategic rationality a modern way of thinking? Not according to Josiah Ober, Mitsotakis Professor of Political Science and Classics at Stanford University, and formerly a professor at Princeton University.
This summer, as a recipient of funding from the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and the Princeton Classics Department, I was able to attend the course in Modern Greek at the Princeton Athens Center, taught by Lelia Panteloglou, as well as a three-week French course through LSF in Montpellier, France. Department funding also supported my travels to other sites in Greece as well as visits to museums and sites within Athens relevant to my research and coursework.
The 2022 Princeton Department of Classics News Letter has arrived!
The department's annual newsletter is now available online and paper copies have been mailed.
Inside you can find exciting updates from faculty and students, as well as articles highlighting Classics Department events!