Ph.D. 1995 Yale University (Classics)
M.Phil. 1993 Yale University (Classics)
M.A. 1992 Yale University (Classics)
M.A. 1990 University of Ottawa (Roman Studies)
B.A.Hon 1989 Carleton University (Classical Studies)
My research focus in books and articles centers on the History and Legacy of Roman Culture, Death Studies, the Roman Theatre, and Latin Poetry. My most recent book, Death: Antiquity And Its Legacy (2012) is part of the I.B.Tauris/ Oxford University Press Ancients and Moderns series. I explore how ancient death rituals inform and engage modern funerary and burial practices through select themes from the Medieval period and the Renaissance to the Present: embalming and cremation, Neoclassical and Victorian monuments, the topography of death (actual and virtual cemeteries), commemoration (epitaphs to tattoos), and on-going social relationships with the dead at the site of death and/or burial and in the home.
This book expands upon my Reading Death in Ancient Rome (Columbus, 2008) in which I examine death ritual as a cultural and literary intertext of epitaphs, drama, and epic to analyze authorial agendas that are often at odds with actual rituals. As a member of the International Editorial Board of the journal Mortality, I participate in the multi-disciplinary International Conferences on the Social Contexts of Death, Dying, and Disposal (affiliated with the CDAS - University of Bath), contribute articles and book reviews, and introduce the Journal and Conference to the growing number of Classicists specializing in death studies.
In my literary studies, I take a semiotic approach to explore the inter and intratextuality of texts within their cultural contexts. Roman Tragedy: Theatre to Theatricality (Austin, 2004) was the first monograph devoted to Roman tragedy in over 125 years. I take a chronological and semiotic approach to the plays to restore them to their cultural contexts, from the founding of the Roman theatre to the political role of theatre (textual and architectural) and metatheatre in the Late Republic and Early Empire. Archaic Latin Verse (Focus Publishing, 2nd edition: 2004) is a text and commentary edition of Latin verse from carmina to the epics of Livius, Naevius and Ennius, including select plays from Livius, Naevius, Ennius, Caecilius Statius, Accius, Pacuvius and fragments from the satires of Lucilius. Commentary notes contextualize the passages and anticipate their imitation by Augustan and Silver Epic poets.
The cultural legacy of ancient Rome on the monuments and sites of later periods (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Fascist, Modern) is the focus of my fifth book Strolling Through Rome: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Eternal City (IBTauris, 2013). Honed from years of experience teaching on Study Abroad Programs, I guide the visitor through the various areas and eras of Rome. This book is part of IBTauris' "Strolling Through" series for which I serve as Series Editor. These guides, written by scholars, provide historical context to the modern city for travelers looking for a more in-depth introduction and resource. I will follow up my Rome guide with a guide to Florence: Strolling Through Florence: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Renaissance City (IBTauris, 2014).
- Strolling Through Florence: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Renaissance City (IBTauris, 2014).
- Strolling Through Rome: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Eternal City (IBTauris, 2013)
- Death: Antiquity And Its Legacy (London and New York: IBTauris/ Oxford University Press, 2012)
- Reading Death in Ancient Rome (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008)
- Roman Tragedy: Theatre to Theatricality (University of Texas Press: Austin, TX, 2004)
- Archaic Latin Verse (Focus Publishing: Newburyport, MA 2001; Second Edition: 2004)
- "Epitaphs," "Funeral Pyre," "Lamentations" entries for Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience. Clifton D. Bryant and Dennis L. Peck, (eds.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (2009).
- “Enticing Tantalus in Seneca's Thyestes” MD 56 (2006), 185-198
- “Birds of a Feather? Ennius and Horace, Ode 2.20” Latomus 65.2 (2006), 369-377
- “Mourning Pompey: Lucan and the Poetics of Death Ritual” Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History: Collection Latomus 12 volume 287 (2005), 344-360
- “Staging Brutus: Roman Legend and the Death of Caesar” Essays in Honor of Gordon Williams: Twenty Five Years at Yale (New Haven, 2001) 101-114
- “Among the Dead in Ancient Rome” Mortality 6.1 (2001) 31-43
The courses that I teach at the Undergraduate and Graduate levels reflect my research focus and methodology: History and Legacy of Greek and Roman Culture (material and literary), Death Studies, the Ancient Theatre, and Latin Poetry (Graduate level survey courses on the development of Latin Verse and Prose and Undergraduate/Graduate translation courses in Early Latin Poetry, Plautus, Terence, Catullus, Horace, Seneca, Petronius, Silver Epic Poetry). I also teach Greek translation courses (Greek Lyric Poetry and Hellenistic Poetry). Classical Culture courses taught on campus and on Study Abroad Programs include CLAS4370/6370 The Roman Theatre and Theatricality, CLAS4380/6380 Death: Antiquity And Its Legacy and CLAS4390/6390 The Grand Tour: Visions and Revisions of Classical Antiquity.
2011/2012 Graduate Proseminar Topic: Dead Vergil from Statius to the Grand Tour: Death in the Epic and (Sub)Urban Landscape of Rome and Naples.