This past September Matt Fox (Oregon BA 1996, Princeton PhD 2004) came to RU after three years in one of the most unusual and rewarding academic positions that this country has to offer, the Robert B. Aird Chair in the Humanities at Deep Springs College (California). This coming year is the second in Matt’s two-year appointment at Rutgers Classics as a visiting assistant professor.
Matt’s scholarly interests range widely—he is equally adept in Greek and Roman literature—but, as he puts it, they “tend to center on literary and oral cultures, especially on the role of music and other media in creating and transmitting cultural memory”. All this in turn involves “detailed philology and contextual analysis and synthesis”.
This summer Matt is finishing a translation of Lucan’s Civil War for Penguin Classics, and working up for publication by University of California Press his 2004 Princeton dissertation, a comparative study of ancient musical cultures.
Matt’s wife Kate Shea (Oregon BA 2000)—who from 2004-2007 held the title of Librarian of the Glorious Peoples Library of Deep Springs College—is an advanced Rutgers graduate student in Classics. Their adorable twin daughters (born 21 February 2007) Jordan Nevada and Camella (Ella) Mae are the focus of every Rutgers event they attend.
“In late June we’re heading for Idaho to visit family”, reports Matt, “where I’ll also be working with my brilliant collaborator Ethan Adams of Loyola Marymount, who is helping with notes and adding to the volume a translation of Petronius’ mock civil war poem.”
This September Timothy Power—who taught Classics from 2001 through 2008 at the University of Washington—joins the Rutgers faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor. A graduate of Yale (BA 1994) and Harvard (Ph.D. 2001), Power spent academic year 2006/7 as a Fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC.
Power is the author of The Culture of Kitharoidia (Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press 2007) —”the first study dedicated exclusively to the art, practice, and charismatic persona of the citharode”, i.e., a poet-performer who sang while accompanying himself to the ancient lyre called the kithara—as well as several substantial articles and chapters on ancient Greek music and poetics.
Plans for this summer? “I”ve recently finished revisions of a paper on Pindar’s Eighth Paean, which explains how choral dancers are like automata, among other wondrous things. It will appear soon in a volume devoted to choral song and performance edited by Lucia Athanassaki and Ewen Bowie.
I am beginning work now on my contribution to the new Brill Companion to Sophocles (“Sophocles and Music”). That and continued work on my ongoing book project, Sounds of the City: The Cultural Acoustics of Classical Athens, should keep me occupied during this gorgeous Seattle summer.”
Another Rutgers Classics first. Fourth year graduate student Liz Gloyn has been selected by Rutgers University—Newark as a member of its inaugural class of Rutgers Scholar-Teachers for 2008-2009.
The Scholar-Teachers program was developed to place some of the very best advanced doctoral students in the Humanities at Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus in classrooms in Newark. Gloyn’s appointment is in Classics, which at Newark is administered by the Department of History. There Gloyn will teach a combination of introductory and elective courses in the field.
Just three students received the award this year.
Liz Gloyn, a native of London, received her first two degrees (BA. M.Phil) from Cambridge University (Newnham College) in Classics. She is writing a dissertation on views of the family in Hellenistic philosophy under the direction of Professor Leah Kronenberg. This May, at the Ann Arbor Feminism and Classics V conference, Liz presented a paper on the depiction of freedwomen at Trimalchio’s dinner party in Petronius’ Satyricon.
Rutgers graduate student Sean Jensen has won a place as a Regular Member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens on the Michael Jameson Fellowship for 2008/9. Jensen, a graduate of Brown University, is currently in his fifth year at Rutgers, and is completing his dissertation on sub-hegemonies in the Delian League under the direction of Professor Thomas J. Figueira.
On 11 January 2009 Jensen presents a paper on the Milesian sub-hegemony at the American Philological Association Annual Meeting, as part of a panel on Thucydides.
Hold on to your hat. Rutgers Classics PhD ’07 Michael Johnson has unearthed in the Special Collections and University Archives of RU a discovery of potentially great interest to the classical world. It has to do with the papers that Frank Austin Scott, tenth president of Rutgers (1891-1906), donated to the university. These included several folders filled with papers pertaining to his studies at Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität in Berlin. In 1871-1872 he had taken courses at that institution with some of the most eminent scholars of the ancient world, then working at the peak of their respective careers.
Most importantly, as Johnson seems to have been the first to discover, Scott took care to preserve the notes from three series of lectures given by the greatest modern historian of ancient Rome, Theodor Mommsen. These are entitled “Roman Antiquities”,”The Annals of Livy”, and “The History of Rome under Diocletian and his Successors”.
The Austin Scott papers on Mommsen—500 standard “blue-book” pages, elegantly written in clear and simple German—come from small upper-level seminars of approximately 16-24 students. The notes on the “Roman Antiquities” lectures are of special interest, because of their relationship to Mommsen’s most useful and most enduring work, Römisches Staatsrecht, only one volume of which had been published at that time, and that just recently (the first edition of volume one was issued in 1871).
Michael Johnson is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and teaches at Davidson College. He presented some of his preliminary findings on the Scott papers at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association, and is currently engaged in working up the Mommsen lectures for publication.