Academic Specialties and Other Interests
I am a linguist and cultural historian who teaches in both Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (GLAM) and Media Studies. My passion lies in studying the workings of the languages of ancient Greek and Latin, as well as exploring their various modes of literary communication. I also study and teach the literature, art, and culture of the various peoples (not only the ancient Greeks and Romans) who lived in the Mediterranean region 1500-3500 years ago, as well as the languages (Medieval Latin and Middle English) and civilizations of Europe during the medieval period. Why do I do this? Both because I find such things inherently fascinating and because I strongly believe that an understanding of the past is essential to creating a better future for oneself and one’s community.
What I especially value about Beloit is the culture of flexibility and support that allows both students and faculty to pursue their passions and expand their intellectual horizons beyond that of any previous (and usually more rigidly prescribed) educational experience. One area where this has been most evident for me over the last ten years is in my explorations with students of the history, nature, and function of cinema, which employs its own complex “language” to communicate its ideas. In fact, Beloit’s atmosphere of intellectual curiosity has significantly impacted my understanding of myself and my place in the complex, messy world we humans have created. Therefore, I am constantly encouraging my students to take advantage of the opportunities available at Beloit to continue their growth and learning, both during their time here and beyond graduation.
One area I particularly point out to students to take advantage of when they are at Beloit is to become teaching assistants. I have had student TAs do actual undergraduate teaching in my Greek and Latin first-year language classes, in my courses on Greek and Roman civilization, in my literary studies courses (e.g., ancient epic, comedy, graphic novels), and in my film courses. As a student, teaching is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do in college, so if the opportunity presents itself, take advantage of it. And if it doesn’t present itself, make known your desire to a faculty member whose class you took and enjoyed (and did well in!) that you would love to be a TA for them.