School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor of Classics
BioGrant Parker joined Stanford from Duke University in 2006. He teaches Latin and other topics in Roman imperial culture; he has worked on the history of collecting and on historical maps. His books include The Making of Roman India (2008) and The Agony of Asar: a former slave's defence of slavery, 1742 (2001). He has edited a major volume, South Africa, Greece, Rome: classical confrontations (forthcoming 2016/7). Current research projects focus on memorialization and public history, in both Rome and South Africa (including comparison).
Teresa Hihn Moore Professor of Religious Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Classics
BioMichael Penn, the Teresa Hihn Moore Professor of Religious Studies, is a specialist in the history of early Christianity with a particular focus on middle eastern Christians who wrote in the Aramaic dialect of Syriac.
Professor Penn’s first book, Kissing Christians: Ritual and Community in the Late Ancient Church, was published in 2005 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. In 2015 he published two books on Christian-Muslim relations: Envisioning Islam: Syriac Christians in the Early Muslim World (University of Pennsylvania Press) and When Christians First Met Muslims: A Source Book of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam (University of California Press). For these projects Professor Penn has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, the British Academy, the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning.
Professor Penn is currently working on an Andrew Mellon Foundation funded collaboration that uses recent advances in the computerized analysis of handwriting to help analyze ancient Aramaic manuscripts. In addition to this work in the digital humanities, Professor Penn has begun several related projects that focus on the history of Syriac Christianity and the manuscripts they produced.
Before joining Stanford, Professor Penn was on the faculty of Mount Holyoke College. He has also taught at Brandeis University, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, and Duke University. He has additional experience as a secondary school teacher, including six years as the director of forensics at Durham Academy High School, where he ran a nationally competitive policy debate team. Professor Penn has also held research positions at Apple Computers, the Weizmann Institute (Israel), the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital, and Ames Research Center, NASA.
Ph.D. (Religion) Duke University (1999)
A.B. (Molecular Biology) Princeton University (1993)
Professor of Art and Art History and, by courtesy, of Classics
BioBissera Pentcheva's work focuses on Byzantium and the medieval Mediterranean, more specifically aesthetics, phenomenology, and acoustics. Her most recent book Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space and Spirit in Byzantium (Penn State University Press 2017) explores the interconnection among acoutsics, architecture, and liturgical rite. She has also edited, Aural Architecture in Byzantium: Music, Acoustics and Ritual (Ashgate, 2017). Pentcheva has published another two books with Pennsylvania State University Press: Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium, 2006 that won the John Nicholas Brown prize form the Medieval Academy of America in 2010 and The Sensual Icon: Space, Ritual, and the Senses in Byzantium, 2010. She has held a number of prestigious fellowships among them: J. S Guggenheim, American Academy of Rome, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Mellon New Directions Fellowship for the study of Classical Arabic, Alexander von Humboldt (Germany), Onassis Foundation (Greece), Dumbarton Oaks, and Columbia University's Mellon Post-doctoral fellowship. Her work has been published at the Art Bulletin, Speculum, Gesta, and Res. Anthropology and Aesthetics, and Convivium.
Ph.D. Student in Classics, admitted Autumn 2015
BioDavid is focusing in classical archaeology, with research interests in Roman villas, Imperial and Late Antique Roman Italy, and ancient health and disease, in particular malaria. He received a B.A. in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University (2012), a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (2013), and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Arizona (2015). David is also Director of Excavations for the 'Villa Romana di Poggio Gramignano Archaeological Project' (est. 2016; PI - David Soren, University of Arizona), a multidisciplinary research project focusing on the Augustan-period villa at Poggio Gramignano and its related Late Antique (mid. 5th cent. CE) infant and child cemetery, both located along the Tiber river near the Umbrian town of Lugnano in Teverina, Italy.
David's dissertation concerns the archaeology and history of malaria in Roman central Italy (200 BCE to the 500 CE). More specifically, it examines the interactions between humans, mosquito vectors, and malaria parasites, and the ways in which the environment, artifacts, and human practices exposed people in the past to this disease.
Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and of Classics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsStanford Repertory Theater (SRT) is set to launch its 17th summer festival, this summer (2015) dedicated to the work of Noel Coward. Our mainstage production is *Hay Fever* and secondstage production *A Coward Cabaret*. The festival includes an all-day community symposium, continuing studies course *Theater on Theater*, and film festival on Coward. Our 2016 SRT Festival will focus on "Theater and Labor" with productions of Naomi Wallace's *Slaughter City* and Clifford Odets' *Waiting for Lefty."
I continue working on a long-term project entitled "Bilingual Beckett," which has included Stanford Repertory Theater's bilingual production of Samuel Beckett's *Happy Days/Oh les beaux jours," performed at Stanford, San Francisco, Montpellier, and Paris.
Professor Eleni Papalexiou at the University of the Peloponnese and I are collaborating to develop a summer institute in the Argolid, "Ancient Tragedies/Modern Stages," exploring contemporary approaches to staging Greek tragedy.
In winter 2016, SRT will remount "Words and Images to End All War," a theater piece I developed this year on World War I, supported by Stanford Arts Institute, Stanford Continuing Studies, TAPS, and Art and Art History.
SRT's "Comparative Clytemnestra" (performance/lecture focusing on the various treatments of Clytemnestra in Greek tragedy, with actress Courtney Walsh) will travel to New Zealand and Australia in the fall of 2015. This work will find its way into the revision of my 1992 *Greek Tragic Theatre,* which will come out in a new version entitled *Understanding Greek Tragedy* in 2016
Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History
BioScheidel's research ranges from ancient social and economic history and premodern historical demography to the comparative and transdisciplinary world history of inequality, state formation, and human welfare. He is particularly interested in connecting the humanities, the social sciences, and the life sciences.
Scheidel is the author or (co-)editor of 20 books, has published well over 200 articles, chapters, and reviews, and has lectured in 28 countries. His most recent books are "Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity" (2019), "The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past" (2018, ed.), "The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century" (2017; 12 translation contracts), "On Human Bondage: After Slavery and Social Death" (2017, co-edited with John Bodel), "State Power in Ancient China and Rome" (2015, ed.), and "Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States" (2015, co-edited with Andrew Monson). Other key publications include "Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires" (2009, ed.), "The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World" (2007, co-edited with Ian Morris and Richard Saller), and "Death on the Nile: Disease and the Demography of Roman Egypt" (2001).
Scheidel recently completed "The Oxford World History of Empire" (2 vols, co-edited with Peter Bang and the late Christopher Bayly). He is currently working on the Roman monarchy in global comparative context and on monogamy and polygyny, and is planning a book on how modernizing developmental discontinuities have come to enrich, divide and threaten humankind. He launched an international research initiative for the comparative study of ancient Mediterranean and Chinese empires, co-founded the "Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics," created the interactive web site "Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World," which has attracted over a million visitors and global media coverage, and is an editor of the monograph series "Oxford Studies in Early Empires" and a former editor of the journal "Historia." He was awarded a Mellon New Directions Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Professor of Classics
design history and research; archaeological theory; heritage studies and archaeologies of the contemporary past; the archaeology of Grece-Roman urbanism; the regional archaeology of the English-Scottish borders.
Archaeology in the making: conversations through a discipline. Edited with Bill Rathje and Chris Witmore. Routledge 2013.
Archaeology: the discipline of things. With Bjørnar Olsen, Tim Webmoor and Chris Witmore. University of California Press, 2012.
The archaeological imagination. Left Coast Press, 2012.
Archaeologies of presence: art, performance and the persistence of being. Edited with Nick Kaye and Gabriella Giannachi. Routledge, 2012.
An archaeology of antiquity. With Gary Devore. For Oxford University Press.
The Revs Program at Stanford. Automotive archaeology.
From Tyne to Tweed. An archaeology of the English-Scottish borders, including excavations of the Roman town of Binchester.
Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities
BioMy early formal training was as a papyrologist. For a number of years I published texts from the Oxyrhynchus and the Yale papyrus collections before turning to the two areas of research that continue to occupy me: the political and social dimensions of Hellenistic literature (and its later reception) and ancient Greek fiction writing. With Jack Winkler I edited Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments (Princeton) in 1995, and I continue to write on the social contexts of the novels and on Hellenistic Egypt more generally. In 1998 I began to write on the Hellenistic poets suggesting that their poems could be best be understood as contextualized responses to a new time and place—the recently founded city of Alexandria. Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria, which appeared in 2003, was a study of how the local Egyptian contours of Ptolemaic kingship informed the poetry of Callimachus, Theocritus, and Apollonius. Since then then I have turned to Callimachus’ reception of earlier writing (particularly Herodotus and Plato), his imagined geographies, and his appropriation of earlier Greek myths of North Africa. Callimachus in Context. From Plato to the Alexandrian Poets (with Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Cambridge, 2011) and Brill’s Companion to Callimachus (co-edited with Acosta-Hughes and Luigi Lehnus) will both appear this summer.
At the moment I am writing a commentary on Callimachus’ Hymns and, in an effort to make Callimachus’ Aetia more accessible and user friendly, will be facilitating a website located on the Stanford server.