Monthly Archives: January 2009

R time in Philadelphia: Rutgers Classics faculty, students, alums enliven 2009 APA/AIA Annual Meetings

It was the only party at the 2009 Meetings of the American Philological Association/American Institute of Archaeology with a barcoded invite.


And for good reason.

It all went down on Philly’s tiny Drury Street, where almost 100 faculty, past faculty, students, alums, and friends of the Rutgers Classics Department managed to cram into both levels of  the legendary McGillin’s, Philadelphia’s oldest continuously operating public house (est. 1860). [How did that place manage to stay open from 1920-1933? Ed.]

The indisputable highlight? That came close to midnight on Thursday 8 January 2009, when Classics visiting assistant professor Matt Fox (performing under the pseudonym “Matt Foxx”) rocked the house with the Dylan songbook.

ruapauiucIllinois @Urbana-Champaign massively in the house for Matt Fox at the RU Classics party

But the next morning it was down to even more serious business for Rutgers Classics, for the start of three days of conference talks and responses. You can see a full list here.

Next year? The 2010 APA/AIA locale is Anaheim California…perhaps a Matt Fox show at the NHL Ducks’ Honda Center.


From top: Greg Golden (PhD 2008) and (RU-N History) Gary Farney; Nathaniel Broughton, Margaret Broughton Tenney, Alan and Laurie Broughton; 7.5% of the Yale Classics Department, recent past and present; and Claude Eilers (McMaster, facing camera), with RU friends on McGillin’s stairs


From top: Andrew Scott (PhD 2008, now Hendrix College) and grad student Kate Shea at the Friday 9 Jan presentation of the published TRS Broughton autobiography, which they co-edited with Ryan Fowler (PhD 2008, now Grinnell College), Alan Broughton, and TC Brennan; Michael Johnson (PhD 2008, now Davidson College); grad students R. Loer and L. Danvers; SRO crowd at start of Thomas Figueira talk for Friends of Ancient History panel


Postcard from Monroe NC: Rutgers Classics alums embrace rustic life, found online school


Just received—a very welcome electronic postcard from Bill Michael (RU Classics BA’01). He brings us up to date on his and his classicist wife’s amazing post-graduation Bucolics:

“My wife Dania Strevell (RU Classics ‘98) and I met in high school, but studied together in the Rutgers Classics department from 1995-2001.  I began as a sophomore pre-med student, and ‘converted’ to classical studies after she did.”

“By the time we were 28 we were already married with three children…I was teaching Classics courses in a private school in northern NJ and my wife was at home with the babies (yes, our first child did know the Greek alphabet before he was 2), but Cato, Virgil and a bunch of old monks were stirring in us a desire for ‘the rustic life’.”

“During my time at Rutgers, I studied the history of classical education and was convinced that there were (and are) many families who would be interested in classical studies if they were presented accessibly.  We wanted to bring them to the elementary school—and not as a silly side-dish. We gathered resources while at Rutgers and decided to begin restoring an older form of the classical liberal arts curriculum with our goal being to bring the classical humanities to the youngest students.  As much as we loved studying classical languages, history and philosophy, we felt we learned about them too late.  Further, with the increasing numbers of homeschooling families asking us for private instruction and information, we thought we might be on to something.”

“In 2005 we moved to rural NC, about 30 minutes SE of Charlotte, where we were able to build a house on 15 acres of farm land.”

image012A look across the pond on the Michael property

“While I enjoyed the privilege of reading Cato’s agricultural treatise and Virgil’s rustic poems in the country, I had to earn my bread.”


Carrots, spinach and onions in the Michael kitchen garden

“So, I spent the time teaching the Classics again at a private school in Charlotte, while we spent three years having more children and developing the curriculum and layout for the program on the side.”


Bill Michael with children (“only 5 then”) on a walk on his Monroe NC farm in 2006

“This past September, we launched the Classical Liberal Arts Academy online. Now, this is simultaneously a religious endeavor of ours, being old-school Catholics, but we achieved our goal and are making a living with Classics degrees—which many said was impossible.  Phooey.”

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