Department and Alumni News

DEPARTMENT NEWS

Many of you may be old enough to remember back last summer when I sent out a note soliciting your news! Well, lots of you responded, and your news is now available online thanks to the redoubtable efforts of Jean Sherwin our department assistant. But month after month has since elapsed while I failed to write ours, so I now have the task of giving you not only highlights from 2009-10, but also most of 2010-2011!

Our primary focus last year was hiring a new tenure-track colleague (for the first time since I arrived in 1990); we are delighted to welcome Kathryn Steed, who taught for two years at Reed College after receiving her PhD from the University of Michigan.  In addition, Chris Polt (PhD UNC) is here on a two-year appointment, replacing Chico while he takes a well-earned leave.  It’s been great having both of them around.

If we go all the way back to the fall of 2009, we can report that we helped out with Carleton’s Humanities Center bringing Holt Parker to campus; he gave a very well-attended and highly provocative talk, as well as a seminar for students in my Gender and Sexuality course.  In the spring students organized an all-night marathon reading of the Odyssey (finishing with the slaughter of the suitors and a waffle breakfast).  We also held our biennial lamb roast at Council Ring because of the work being done on Mai Fete Island.  It turned out to be a great venue for the event, and we’re planning to do it again there this year. It’s particularly nice for capturing pictures of each class on the different levels of rocks: see pictures here.

We graduated a delightful set of seniors in 2010, who are currently spread out across the world: Ryan Farkas is in Madagascar (Peace Corps), Anneli Doering in Cuernavaca, Mexico (Young Adults in Global Mission), Jenny Krantz in Cambridge, England (for an MPhil in Classics), Erica Chesley in Lawrenceville, NJ (teaching fellowship in Math), and Heather Stevick and Megan McMahon Bendiksen both in Massachusetts (Heather at the North Bennet St.  School for bookbinding, and Megan at U. Mass Amherst for a Masters of Teaching Latin and Classical Humanities).  The Senior Symposium on The Four Elements, and the journal that came out of it, were both of spectacular quality; Anneli Doering (currently in Mexico) joins alum Taylor Coughlan (’06) as recipient of the Winkler Memorial Prize for her comps paper. 

Finally, in honor of our new faculty we instituted a series of informal “classics discussions” where faculty can present work-in-progress to colleagues and students.  Chris Polt kicked off this series off for us in the fall term with a session on his work on translation, and Kathryn Steed presented in the spring term her work on Cicero’s use of Marius as an iconic populist figure.

I wanted to thank especially those of you who responded to my question about whether and how your Classics training helped you in whatever career you might have chosen; the answers were extremely thoughtful and I think will be very helpful for our current students; we’re working on the most effective way to distribute them. And on the same topic, I’ve also been asked by our Career Center to bring to your attention their “externship program” in case any of you might be willing to show current Carls the ins and outs of your exciting lives. You can find out more about that program here.

I’ll be in touch again next fall with more details about the Great Jacksonian Retirement Bash!

Click here for 2010 Alumni Updates.