Welcome to Patricia Rosenmeyer
I am originally from Seattle, but spent much of my childhood in Berkeley, where I was exposed to ancient languages and cultures in the high school classroom of an inspirational Latin teacher. So many of us in academia are set off on our career paths by great teachers! I suspect, however, that teaching was always in my blood; not only was I a faculty brat, but family legend has it that, at an early age, I used to line up my dolls and drill them on their lessons.
Changing coasts, I began Ancient Greek at Harvard University, where I studied with some legendary scholars in Classics and Classical Archaeology. I determined fairly rapidly that the area I loved most was poetry: Ancient Greek, Latin, French, German – it didn’t really matter, as long as it was in verse. After a semester away in West Berlin, and some adventures traveling in Greece, Italy, and Israel, I received my B.A. (1980) and took up a two-year Marshall Scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge University. My time in the U.K. was truly formative for me as a scholar as well as a person, and I still think of Cambridge as my second home. I returned to the U.S. with a thesis on Callimachus (supervised by the inimitable J.G.W. Henderson), a second B.A. degree (1982; M.A. 1987), and an even stronger passion for all aspects of the ancient world, from traditional subfields such as textual criticism and paleography, to the newly developing modes of critical theory and gender studies.
As I worked towards my doctorate in Classics and Comparative Literature at Princeton University (Ph.D. 1987), my dissertation advisors, Froma Zeitlin and Jim Zetzel, encouraged me to keep on reading deeply and thinking broadly; a seminar on Archaic Lyric with Anne Carson exposed me to previously unknown vistas; and I had my first formal experience in the classroom as a teaching assistant. I then moved to the Midwest as an Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan (1986-90), a wonderfully supportive and exciting place to start my career. I subsequently taught at Yale University (1990-96) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1997-2017) before taking up the George L. Paddison Chair of Classics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in fall 2017.
Although my heart still belongs to poetry, I admit to a wide range of scholarly interests: archaic and Hellenistic Greek poetry; ancient Greek epistolary fiction; Greek epigram and inscription; Ovid; imperial Greek literature; critical theory; and reception studies. I have published four books: The Politics of Imitation: Anacreon and the Anacreontic Tradition (Cambridge 1992), Ancient Epistolary Fictions: the Letter in Greek Literature (Cambridge 2001), Ancient Greek Literary Letters: Selections in Translation (Routledge 2006), and The Language of Ruins: Greek and Latin Inscriptions on the Memnon Colossus (Oxford 2018). With Owen Hodkinson, I co-edited Epistolary Narratives in Ancient Greek Literature (Brill 2013). My articles include studies of Homer, Sappho, Anacreon, the Anacreontics, Callimachus, Meleager, Plautus, Ovid, Petronius, and Aristaenetus, as well as classical receptions by English, French, German, and Hebrew poets. I have received fellowships from AAUW (1986), ACLS (1988-89), NEH (1992-93; 2000), the Mellon Foundation (2007-08), and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation (2010), and have been a Visiting Fellow at the Pembroke Center at Brown (1990-91), the Institute for Research in the Humanities at UW-Madison (1998), and Clare Hall, Cambridge (2017). My current research focuses on Sappho, reception studies, and translation as a cultural strategy in early 20th-century western Europe.
In terms of service to the profession, I have served in offices for the SCS, acted as a reader for numerous university presses (Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Princeton, Routledge, Wisconsin) and journals, been on selection committees for ACLS and NEH, and participated in external tenure reviews in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to 2 Ph.D. dissertations at Yale, I directed 14 Ph.D. dissertations and 8 M.A. theses during my time at UW-Madison. I am immensely proud of all my students; many of them are now (tenured) faculty themselves, while others have found satisfying careers in other professions. I have even taught the students of my former students – a special thrill!
I am truly delighted to have been invited into the Classics community here at UNC-Chapel Hill. Colleagues and students, both friendly and intellectually engaged, have made the transition not just painless, but positively joyful. I welcome undergraduate and graduate students to work with me on projects related to my areas of interest, and I look forward to teaching a wide variety of courses, from First Year Seminars (Fall 2018: “Helen of Troy from Homer to Hollywood”) to graduate seminars.