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.