Faculty news and notes, 2014-2015
During the summer of 2014 I finished and sent to a publisher a monograph on the medieval schools of Liège that I have been working on for decades. The highlight of my fall was the “Texts and Contexts” conference at Ohio State in November, where three of our graduate students, John Beeby, Will Begley, and Keith Penich, read papers on the manuscripts from the medieval abbey of Gembloux: the entire panel was an overwhelming success and garnered kudos from everyone present. This year I published essays on the reception of Lucretius and on some new portions of a medieval poem on Ecclesiastes that I discovered in the Royal Library in Brussels during my studies there in 2012. At the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies, Francis Newton (PhD, ‘53) and I jointly presented a paper on the medieval reception of Tibullus, and we enjoyed a delightful lunch with Charlie Henderson (PhD, ’55). This spring I was elected a Corresponding Member (korrespondierendes Mitglied) of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich. I am currently making plans to spend much of the coming summer in Heidelberg, having received a stipend from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung in support of my current research project.
The past year has been busy but rewarding. I’ve served as newly minted Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of a committee charged with redesigning our Historical Emphasis PhD track. I’ve taught graduate-level Thucydides, and undergraduate courses on The Greeks, Herodotus, and Ancient Delphi. In the fall I traveled to Oxford to speak about myth and history at an interdisciplinary conference on ‘Historical Consciousness and Historiography’, and to Fredericksburg to address new directions in Greek historiography on the Presidential panel of CAMWS Southern Section. In May I shall join Carolyn Dewald at the Melammu conference in Finland to represent Greek historiography on a panel juxtaposing Greek and Near Eastern perspectives. Articles that should soon appear in print include ‘Panthea’s Sisters: Negotiating East-West Polarities through Gender in Xenophon’ (for a CW Supplementary volume), ‘Knowing Future time in Xenophon’s Anabasis’ (Trends in Classics Supplementary volume), ‘History, Ethnography, & Aetiology in Herodotus’ Libyan logos’ (BICS Supplementary volume), and an appendix for the forthcoming Landmark edition of Xenophon’s Anabasis. After completing our editing work on papers for Histos on the theme of Clio & Thalia (historiography and Old Comedy), Edith Foster and I are in the thick of writing the introduction. I have recently joined the editorial boards of Histos and Classical Journal, and I continue to serve on the Advisory Board for the enormous forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Herodotus Encyclopedia and as an Ambassador on the Society for Classical Studies’ Development Committee.
After a successful summer season at the Late Roman settlement site of Horvat Omrit, Israel in 2014, Jennifer traveled to Egypt in January to join a French team working at the site of Samut in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. This third century BC fortification is located along the road that connected Edfu to the Red Sea coast, and is an almost intact example of an early Ptolemaic fortified well and settlement. Jennifer’s work on the site includes the identification and analysis of the pottery recovered from the fort, which included a series of intact cooking and serving vessels recovered from the fort’s interior.
I continue to enjoy my time at UNC enormously. I spent the summer doing research between London and Chapel Hill (and teaching in France for two weeks), and was able to complete a number of smaller projects: an article on “Caesarian Intertextualities” (forthcoming for The Classical Journal), two on Cicero’s letters (forthcoming for The Classical Quarterly and for Arethusa), and an essay on “Lucilius and Invective” for a forthcoming edited volume. Fall was beautiful and intense: teaching two new courses, organizing a conference, coordinating beginning and intermediate Latin, and proofreading my book would have been enough for preventing me from getting bored, but in August the fairly sudden arrival of two lovely foster daughters definitely added more fun to the mix. In spring I enjoyed being on research leave, which has allowed me to get started on a new project on “Irony in Latin Literature,” for which I presented a paper in London and one at a conference in Belgium. The tyranny of deadlines helped me to be productive: my commentary on Cicero’s De Provinciis Consularibus was published in Spring 2015; The Cambridge Companion to Caesar, which I am co-editing with Prof. Christopher Krebs (Stanford), is almost ready for final submission; and I was glad to learn that the paperback edition of my first book is forthcoming, and even more glad upon learning that it required no effort on my part.
Donald Haggis completed an edited book, Classical Archaeology in Context: Theory and Practice in Excavation in the Greek World, which will be published by De Gruyter this summer 2015. The papers in the volume address the intrinsic flaws in our perception of the archaeological record of the Greek world, challenging readers to move beyond the limits of finite datasets that have traditionally defined the scope of research questions in the field to understand archaeological context as a construct of archaeological practice. He has also been working on a monograph on settlement structure in the Aegean, while directing the Azoria Project, and publishing papers on urbanization in the Aegean. One of his projects explores the essence of archaeological time embedded in popular apocalyptic narratives of the undead (zombies).
Sharon L. James
In the last year I’ve taught classes on Roman love elegy (graduate and undergraduate), a first-year seminar, and, with Sheila Dillon from Duke University, team-taught a graduate class on women in antiquity — according to two independently conducted surveys, it is the only class of its kind in the world. I’ve been busy giving talks, producing articles, and completing my book on women in New Comedy (750 pages in manuscript). Issue 108.1 of Classical World contains an article about my graduate course, “Ovid and Literary Theory.” More articles are in the works. The NEH Summer Institute has now had over 15,000 views (as of early April) in 113 countries, and appears to be seeing much use in classrooms. The Blackwell Companion to Women in the Ancient World, co-edited with Sheila Dillon, which won two awards, will come out in paperback in May 2015. Another co-edited volume, Women in Roman Republican Drama (co-edited with David Konstan and Dorota Dutsch; University of Wisconsin Press), has just been published. In the next few years, I will be working to commission a series of translations of New Comedy (all of Menander, Plautus, and Terence), to be published by Wisconsin. The volumes will be organized thematically, and my own translations of eight plays will be scattered among them somehow, though I don’t yet know how.
James J. O’Hara
With the help of a Loeb Classical Library Fellowship, I’ll be off all of 2015-2016 to work on my book, Teaching, Pretending to Teach, and the Authority of the Speaker in Roman Didactic and Satire. In SP 2015 I taught a graduate seminar on the book, and also taught in LATN 353 Horace’s Satires and Ars Poetica, which are both treated in the book. Work continues on the Focus Aeneid Commentary project (though Focus is being absorbed by Hackett Press); I have a draft of my Aeneid 8 and am also co-editing, with Randall Ganiban of Middlebury, Books 7-12. In June 2015 I gave a paper at the Vergilian Society’s Symposium Cumanum at Cuma, Italy; the conference is on “Revisiting Vergil and Roman Religion,” and my paper is ((was)) “Prophecy in the Aeneid Revisited: Lying, Exaggeration and Encomium in Aeneid 8 and the Shield of Aeneas.” I’ve started work on a new Introduction for a planned re-print of my 1996 True Names: Vergil and the Alexandrian Tradition of Etymological Wordplay ... I’m on the Executive Committee of CAMWS, was on the McKay Book Prize Committee of the Vergilian Society this past year, and chaired paper sessions at SCS and CAMWS. At UNC I’ve just completed my sixth year as Placement Director, and invite everyone to look at the pages on placement we now have on the Department website.
William H. Race
This year I was privileged to direct our very successful Post-Baccalaureate Program. At the same time, two articles of mine on Homer appeared: “Achilles’ kudos in Iliad 24” in Mnemosyne 67 (2014) 707-724; and “Phaeacian Therapy in Homer’s Odyssey” in P. Meineck & J. D. Konstan, edd., Combat Trauma and the Ancient Greeks (New York: Palgrave, 2014) pp. 47-66. In addition, Routledge republished my 1988 book Classical Genres and English Poetry. I have one publication forthcoming: an essay on translations of Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica to appear in The Cambridge Companion to Apollonius. I continue to work on a literary commentary on Apollonius’ Argonautica and on several articles on Pindar.
My monograph on Roman book collections appeared in November: Inside Roman Libraries: Book Collections and Their Management in Antiquity (University of North Carolina Press, 2014). The book has six chapters: how you acquired books and built a collection; lists of books preserved on papyrus; the book collection in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum; concentrations of literary texts found at Oxyrhynchus; equipment and decorative elements; and personnel. Three appendices provide supporting materials.
I also published an article on Roman sundials, their physical characteristics, and their uses in light of their lack of precision. The article, “Using Sundials,” is part of a volume published in honor of Richard J. A. Talbert, Aspects of Ancient Institutions and Geography, edited by Lee Brice and Daniëlle Slootjes (Brill, 2015). On a personal level, my wife and I have moved from our home of 43 years on Tinkerbell Road to Carol Woods retirement community. There is good classical precedent for such a move, since Berthe Marti and Sally and Henry Immerwahr lived at Carol Woods in earlier times, and Cynthia and Alan Dessen moved there a few years ago.
William C. West
I have had a busy year publishing the below items, and teaching a course on Thucydides at Osher Lifetime Learning Institute (OLLI) at Duke University last fall. Two articles of mine also appeared: “Learning the Alphabet: Abecedaria and the Early Schools in Greece,” GRBS 55 (2015) 52-71, and ”Informal and Practical Uses of Writing on Potsherds from Azoria, Crete,” ZPE 193 (2015) 151-163.
I completed two publications this year: “Litterae Datae Blandenone: A Letter in Search of a Posting Address”, in: L.L. Bryce and D. Slootjes (eds.), Aspects of Ancient Institutions and Geography: Studies in Honor of Richard J. A. Talbert (Leiden 2015), 280-297, and “The Testimony of Asconius Concerning the Legal Status of the Collegia during the Decline of the Roman Republic”, Eos 100 (2013  202–210 (fasciculus electronicus)