I work on Latin Literature, with a particular interest in historiography and the poetry of the Augustan period. My first book, Spectacle and Society in Livy’s History (University of California Press, 1998), argued that Livy’s manipulation of viewers’ perspectives in his representation of the Roman past tapped into the political and religious power of spectacle in contemporary Roman. Playing Gods: Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Politics of Fiction (Princeton University Press, 2010) examined the role of fictionality in the poem in light of other cultural discourses, especially in the visual arts. Both of these projects had the larger aim of highlighting the ambitious new claims about the role and power of literature made during this era of social, political, and cultural revolution and reconstruction. I have also recently edited or co-edited collections of essays on classical historiography, The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Historians (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and The Oxford History of Historical Writing (Oxford University Press, 2011). I was an undergraduate at Princeton (Class of 1985) and from there went to Berkeley, where I received my Ph.D. in 1991.
My teaching interests cover the range of republican and early imperial Latin literature, from Plautus to Apuleius, including satire and elegy as well as epic and historiography. I enjoy teaching beginning language courses as well as upper level seminars. In addition to Latin teaching, I have regularly taught two large lecture courses on very different aspects of Greek and Roman culture, CLA 212 (Classical Myth), which gives me the opportunity to work with Homer, Hesiod, and Greek tragedy, and CLA 214 (The Other Side of Rome).