Current Graduate Students

Bissell, E. Perot

Brinkman, Bryan

Butler, Sam

Byrd, Justin

Caldis, Sam


Donahoe, Colleen

Fairbank, Keith

Geadrities, Chris

Gianni, Gaia

Hull, Stephany

Jacobs, William

Janzen, Darrel


 Karper, Luther

Kurz, Joey


Machado, Dominic



Philbrick, Rachel

Pires, Alvaro


Ramsey, Rebecca

Resh, Daria

Samori, Mahmoud

Settle, Trigg

Swalec, Jen

Thomas, David

Troia (LaFrance), Adrianne 

Valdivieso, Erika

Van Veldhuizen, Michiel


Jennifer Yates

(All email addresses belong to the domain


Gaia Gianni (2014)
Email: gaia_gianni

Gaia grew up in Tuscany, Italy. She graduated from the University of Siena (Universitá degli Studi di Siena) in 2011 with a BA in Literature and Classics, and in 2013 with a MA in Classics (summa cum laude). She also studied at the University College London (2010) as part of the European Erasmus Exchange Program. Gaia's BA thesis, "Umbrae: metafore da convivio," investigated Horace's use of the word umbrae as a metaphor for uninvited guests at the dinner parties. Her MA thesis, "Angerona e le sue sorelle: dee della necessitá nella cultura Romana" explored the world of minor Roman gods, using both epigraphical and literary evidence from the Archaic era to Late Antiquity. She received the Roland G. D. Richardson Fellowship fund for the year 2014/2015. On May 2015 she participated in the digital Epigraphy workshop "Visible Words" in Greece. Gaia's interests include Religious Studies, Roman cultural history, Epigraphy, and both Latin and Greek historiography. 

Alvaro Pires (2014)
Email: alvaro_pires

Alvaro earned his B.A. in Classical Studies from Santa Clara University in 2011 and his M.A. in Classics from the University of Arizona in 2014, where he received awards for ancient Greek and academic excellence. His Master's thesis examined how Boethius articulates a program for reading the Consolation of Philosophy through reference to Propertius and adaption of Callimachean poetics in the work's two elegiac metra. In this vein, Alvaro's research revolves primarily around Augustan literature and its transmission, and he hopes to broaden and deepen his studies in Latin literary culture, late antiquity, and reception during his time at Brown. He has also studied paleography, and intends to develop this skill over the course of his doctoral program.  

Erika Valdivieso (2014)
Email: erika_valdivieso 

Erika received her B.A. in Classics from the University of Michigan in 2011, graduating summa cum laude with highest honors and highest distinction. Her undergraduate thesis on feminine speech acts in the Iliad earned a Goldstein Prize. Erika received her Master's in Latin with Secondary Teaching Certification in 2014 from Michigan. At Brown, she is a Presidential Fellow. Erika is interested in imperial Latin literature and the Latin of the New World. She is completing a Latin Special Author on Virgil and the Virgilian Tradition with Andrew Laird.  Recent research has taken her into the reception of Plato in the Renaissance and the philosophy of love.  In her free time, Erika enjoys tea, 19th century British literature and PBS.

Stevie Hull (2012)
Email: stephany_hull 

Stevie received her BA in Classics from Cornell University in 2010. In her senior thesis she examined some literary uses of scripture in the letters of Paulinus of Nola, a 4th century CE senator turned monk. Her other background in Classics includes two summers of intensive study at CUNY Brooklyn's Latin/Greek Institute and a year teaching Latin at a public high school in New Jersey. At Brown she is studying the literature of late antiquity. She is currently completing a special topic on post-classical Greek biography and hagiography.

Trigg Settle (2012)
Email: trigg_settle

Trigg graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2009 (summa cum laude) with a B.A. in Classical Studies, and in 2012 with an M.A. in Classics and Comparative Literature. His Master’s thesis, entitled “Higher Powers: Divine Will and Agency in Euripides’ Hippolytos and Herakles,” examines the role of speech acts in the negotiation of power between gods and mortals, with a view toward the constraining force of mortal insults and statements of divine will in the overt and violent antagonism between gods and humans in Euripidean drama. In recent years, Trigg has become especially interested in the peculiar nature of dramatic texts, and how evolving attitudes toward writing and archival practices might have influenced the production, dissemination, and reception of classical drama. He is also more broadly interested in the evolution of the relationship between language and the body as the written archive becomes increasingly distinct from oral and embodied forms of social memory throughout the classical period. Trigg completed a Latin special author on Seneca’s tragedies with Professor DeBrohun earlier this year, and he is currently undertaking a Greek special topics course with Professor Hanink on Attic drama in ancient literary criticism and scholarship.

Michiel van Veldhuizen (2012) 
Email: michiel_van_veldhuizen

Michiel graduated from University College Utrecht (the Netherlands) in 2010 with a BA in the Humanities and a thesis on the problem of evil in Lactantius. Before coming to Brown, he received his MA in Classics from Brandeis University in 2012, with a thesis entitled “A Theology of Memory: The Concept of Memory in the Greek Experience of the Divine," and went on a joyous dig in Croatia that summer. At Brown, Michiel has expanded his interest in Greek and Roman religion, particularly at the nexus of philosophy and mythology. Serving as a fellow for the Mellon-Sawyer seminar "Animal Magnetism: the Emotional Ecology of Animals and Humans," he produced and directed an adaptation of Aristophanes' Birds, and has presented work on the Roman cult of Diana Nemorensis, on the animal chorus in Greek comedy, and a postmodern reading on the theme of copying in the Alexander Romance. After completing special projects on Latin Philosophy of Religion (Cicero, Apuleius, Augustine, et al.) with Joe Pucci and on Homer with Pura Nieto, he has now embarked on his dissertation, "Divining Disaster: Signs of Catastrophe in Greek Culture and Society." Michiel enjoys Tintin, magical realism, and roadtrips. And coffee.

Darrel Janzen (2011)
Email: darrel_janzen 

Darrel graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 2011 with majors in History and Classical Studies, with additional concentrations in Latin and Greek. He has also studied at the University of the Fraser Valley (A.A., 2006) and at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (2009). In the summers of 2012-13 and 2015, he attended the Paideia Institute's spoken Latin and spoken Attic Greek programs in Rome and Selianitika. In fall 2015, Darrel studied Greek epigraphy and worked on his dissertation at l'Université Lumière Lyon 2 in Lyon.

While at Brown, he has completed directed studies in Livy's Third Decade (Bodel) and Thucydides (Scafuro). His interests include historiography, Roman topography, the representation of physical space in literature, and most generally, imperial Latin literature, especially Tacitus. Darrel is currently working on a dissertation entitled  The Outsider Within: Voluntary Isolation by the Roman Elite within the Literature of the Reigns of Domitian to Trajan, which investigates how imperial Roman authors represented elite Romans who chose to disengage from society by depicting them in space that is remote and isolated from the community. This project illustrates the close relationship between physical and social space in the literature of the early Empire.

Besides his dissertation, Darrel is also helping Michael Putnam prepare an edition and translation of the Latin poetry of Pierio Valeriano for publication by Harvard University Press as part of the I Tatti Renaissance Library. Pierio Valeriano was an erudite scholar and poet from north-eastern Italy who wrote learned poetry in many different metres and genres in the early 16th century. Darrel is in the early stages of a project that investigates the significance of landscape, architecture and the monument in Valeriano's poetry. Darrel also has less formal interests in etymology, spoken and vernacular Latin and Greek, and last and certainly not least, strong black coffee.

Rachel Philbrick (2011, ABD)
Email: rachel_philbrick
Dissertation Title: Truth and Exaggeration: The Theme of Hyperbole in Ovid's Exile Poetry, supervised by Jay Reed

Rachel graduated from Cornell University in 2007, earning a B.A. in Latin summa cum laude and a B.A. in Biology & Society. After teaching middle school science in Washington, D.C., and earning her M.A.T. in Secondary Education from The American University, she earned a M.A. in Classics at the University of Kentucky, where she wrote a thesis on the figure of Heracles in Apollonius' Argonautica. She joined the Department of Classics at Brown in 2011 as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, and has since completed special author studies on Callimachus (Pura Nieto Hernandez) and on narrative techniques in Ovid's Metamorphoses (Jay Reed). She is currently writing her dissertation, which examines the poetics of hyperbole and its implications for authorial credibility in Ovid's Tristia, Epistulae ex Ponto, and Ibis

Daria Resh (2011)
Email: daria_resh

A native of Yekaterinburg (the Urals, Russia); BA in History, Ural State University, 2009. MA in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, St Petersburg State University, 2011; MA thesis on writings of Symeon of Thessalonica (early XV century) with focus on problems of genre and self-representation. Participated in Medieval Greek Summer School in Dumbarton Oaks (2010), and presented a paper at XXII International Congress in Byzantine Studies (Sofia, 2011). Interested in rhetorical theory and literary circles in 10th century Constantinople, as well as reception of classical and medieval texts in modern Greek literature.

Elliston Bissell(2010, ABD)
Email: elliston_bissell
Dissertation TitleSubsumption and Primacy in Greco-Roman and Indic Epic, supervised by Joe Pucci

Elliston graduated from the University of Michigan in 2010, with a major in Classical Languages and Literature. His senior thesis, “Cato in Lucan’s Poetic Conception of History”, explored Lucan’s use of the Stoic hero in his presentation of a history of the world marked by endless civil war. As an undergraduate he also studied Sanskrit, and spent summers at the South Asia Institute in Heidelberg and the American School of Indian Studies in Pune, India. He is currently enrolled in the Sanskrit and Classics PhD program, and hopes to work on comparative projects relating the traditions of epic poetry both of South Asia and the Mediterranean.

Justin Byrd (2010)
Email: justin_byrd

Justin graduated from the University of Florida in 2010 with a BA in Classics and Religion. He is the inaugural student in the Sanskrit Language and Literature track. His interests center on the Sanskrit Mahābhārata, with special attention to its narrative and the manner of its reception in later Sanskrit texts. He is also exploring an interest in the Mahābhārata’s philosophical and didactic material.

Adrianne Troia (LaFrance) (2009, ABD)
Email: adrianne_lafrance
Dissertation Title: The Epitaph for Bion:  Agonism and Fictional Biography as Literary Criticism in the Late Bucolic, supervised by Jay Reed 

Adrianne received her B.A. in Classics summa cum laude from nearby Roger Williams University in 2008, after which she studied abroad in Leipzig, Germany as a Fulbright Scholar (08-09). In 2010-2011 she co-organized the Graduate International Colloquium "Ancient Drama and the Performance of Political Ideologies: Voices from the Center and the Edges" with fellow graduate student Matthew Wellenbach. Adrianne has completed special author studies in Catullus with Prof. Jeri DeBrohun (Spring 2012) and Greek Bucolic with Jay Reed (Fall 2011). Her primary research interest centers upon Greek bucolic in general, and late bucolic and the Epitaph for Bion specifically; still, she has found herself invested in other topics from all over the map: Fortunatus (currently working on a paper on servitium amoris in the personal poetry), Homer, metapoetics & literary criticism, and allusion.

Jen Swalec (2009, ABD)
Email: jennifer_swalec
Dissertation Title: Weaving for the Gods: The Role of Textiles in Ancient Greek Religion, supervised by Adele Scafuro

Jennifer received her B.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia in 2009, graduating with High Honors and as the recipient of the Anne Marye Owen Prize for Outstanding Work in the Classics. She entered the graduate program at Brown that fall with a Joukowsky Fellowship. Her dissertation, "Weaving for the Gods: The Role of Textiles in Ancient Greek Religion," draws heavily upon research completed during her participation in the 2013-2014 Regular Year Program of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, supported by the Virginia Grace Fellowship. Her broad interests include ancient religion and mythology, civic performance, dramatic poetry, Athenian social and cultural history, gender and sexuality studies, and craft production. She is the recipient of the 2015 Wilbour Fellowship in Greek. 

Jennifer Lewton Yates (2003, ABD)

Jenni completed her B.A. summa cum laude and with University Honors at Ohio Wesleyan University in 2003, majoring in Humanities/Classics and minoring in Medieval Studies and Ancient Studies.  Before coming to Brown she participated in the ASCSA summer session.  Jenni's special authors were Euripides and Ovid, and she is currently working on a dissertation about tragedy and the ancient novels.  When she isn’t busy with Classics, Jenni serves as the Head Teaching Consultant for the Humanities and Social Sciences for Brown’s Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning.

Ancient History

Sam Butler (2015)
Email: sam_butler 

Sam received a B.A. in Classical Studies from the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 2014 with honors and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. His senior thesis used epigraphic, literary and archaeological evidence to explore issues of Hellenization and native identity preservation and presentation in Karia in the 5th–3rd centuries B.C. At Brown, Sam hopes to continue to use a variety of sources to investigate how different identities were created and maintained in the ancient world, particularly in Asia Minor. He fills his spare time by running through the beautiful greater Providence area. 

Sam Caldis (2013)                                                                                                     
Email: sam_caldis 

Sam Caldis received his BA in Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilizations summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 2011 with a thesis on changing civic cult in Syrian Antioch during the 4th Century CE. His interests are mainly focused on interdisciplinary approaches to frontiers, migration, and urbanism on the late Roman Danube as well as elite power sharing in the later Roman Empire. Sam is also the Lead Epigraphic Analyst of the Southeast Europe Digital Documentation Project.

Luther Karper (2013)                                                                                            
Email: luther_karper

Luther Karper received a BA in History (summa cum laude) from Shippensburg University in 2012 and an MA in Classics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013.  His interests include the political and social history of the Roman Republic and Hellenistic Greece, the early interactions between Rome and the Greek world, politics and identity in the ancient world, and all things inscribed.  In the field of Public History, he has edited and presented research on Civil War veterans who were buried in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, near his hometown.

Mahmoud Samori (2013)
Email: mahmoud_samori

Mahmoud's primary intellectual interest is the social and economic history of the ancient Mediterranean, particularly the Italian and Iberian peninsulas. He takes great pleasure in studying ancient law, religion, material culture, and their intersections, which has lead him recently to questions of "Romanization." Mahmoud also participates regularly in archaeological fieldwork and is especially interested in sacred spaces, the Roman villa, and survey methodology. Before coming to Brown in 2013, he compled a B.A. in Classics at Columbia University with a thesis on Pausanias Periegetes and the memory of the emperor Nero. 

Keith Fairbank (2012)
Email: keith_fairbank

Keith Fairbank earned a BA in Classics and Humanities in 2010 and an MA in 2012, both from Brigham Young University. His Master's thesis, "Horace's Ideal Italy: Sabines and Sabellians in Odes 1-3," examines the relationship between Horace's poetry and the politics of the Roman Social War. At Brown, Keith has completed special authors in Livy with Kurt Raaflaub and Xenophon with Graham Oliver. Keith's primary interests lie in the Adriatic Sea, Roman imperialism, and the artificial divide between Greek and Roman histories. He also studies historiography, settlement and colonialism, and the ancient economy.

Dominic Machado (2011)
Email: dominic_machado

Dominic Machado earned a B.A. in Classics and Economics from Dartmouth College in 2009. Since matriculating to Brown in 2011, his studies have focused primarily on the history of the Roman Republic and Latin historiography. He is currently working on a dissertation under the supervision of John Bodel and Lisa Mignone on Roman reactions and response to the phenomenon of group protest during the last 150 years of the Republic. Additionally, he has attended the Eric P. Newman Graduate Seminar at the American Numismatic Society in the summer of 2014 and he spent the 2015 fall semester as an exchange student at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 in association with the Visible Words project. He has also published a text, translation and commentary on the historical works of Socrates of Argos in Brill's New Jacoby series.

Colleen Donahoe (2010)
Email: colleen_donahoe

Colleen earned a BA in Classical Studies and History from the University of Western Ontario in 2007, followed by an MA in Classics from McMaster University in 2010. She has excavated at Nysa-on-the-Maeander in Turkey (2008) and participated in field surveys during the 2012 season of the Brown University Petra Archaeological Project in Jordan. During 2011-12 she worked on the US Epigraphy Project, using EpiDoc to digitally encode Greek and Latin inscriptions. Her general interests include Roman imperialism, military history, slavery, and women in the ancient world. Colleen's dissertation examines violence against women in Roman military narratives.

Joseph Kurz (2009)
Email: joseph_kurz

Joseph Kurz graduated from the University of Washington in the spring of 2008 with Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Latin and a minor in Greek.  His research interests include Roman Republican history, Punic history, the historiography of Livy, and ancient imperialism in general.  He is currently working on a dissertation about the formation and dissolution of the Barcid Empire in Spain with an emphasis on the impact and agency of indigenous Iberian peoples during the Barcid conquests and subsequent war with Rome.  Joseph is an avid educator and currently teaches intensive Latin summer courses for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Programs.  When he isn’t solving history’s mysteries, Joseph enjoys amateur boxing, yoga, cooking, and the occasional video game. 

Bryan Brinkman (2008, ABD)
Email: bryan_brinkman                                                                                    Dissertation Title: Mass Communication and Imperial Ideology: Popular Acclamation in the Roman Empire, supervised by John Bodel.

Bryan's research is primarily focused on the social and cultural history of the ancient world - especially the Roman Empire - with particular interests in religion, the intersection of Roman imperialism and popular culture, and ancient documents (epigraphical and papyrological). After completing degrees at the University of Utah (BA, Classics and History with Honors; Outstanding Senior Award for the College of Humanities) and the University of Washington (MA, History with Honors; Graduate School Top Research Fellow) Bryan came to Brown University in 2008. In addition, he has attended the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Summer Program (2007), the British School at Athens Post-Graduate Course in Greek Epigraphy (2011), and the American Society of Papyrologists Summer Institute at the University of Chicago (2012). In Fall 2013 he was a Jacobi Fellow at the Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy at the German Archaeological Institute at Munich. In the 2014-2015 academic year he is an Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung Fellow in the Institute of Historical Studies at the University of Cologne. He has presented papers at the annual meetings of the APA, CAMWS, The American Research Center in Egypt, The Association of Ancient Historians, Theoretical Archaeology Group, The Role of Animals in Ancient Myth and Religion (Grumento Nova, Italy), and Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World XI: Voice and Voices (upcoming). Publications have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Classical Review, The Landmark Julius Caesar, and Brill Companion to Classical Receptions: International Modernism and the Avant-Garde