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 and with highest distinction. Her undergraduate thesis on feminine speech acts in the Iliad earned a Goldstein Prize. She received her Master's in Latin with Secondary Teaching Certification in 2014 from Michigan. At Brown, Erika is a Presidential Fellow. She is interested in imperial Latin literature and the reception of imperial ideology in the New World. In her free time, she enjoys tea, 19th century British literature and watching 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 History and Philosophy. He received his MA in Classics from Brandeis University in 2012, and his thesis “A Theology of Memory: The Concept of Memory in the Greek Experince of the Divine” explored the roles of Mnemosyne and recollection in Greek religio-philosophical thought. In the summer of 2011, he participated in a joyous dig in Croatia, and the following summer he presented a paper entitled “Artemis among the Other: Ritual Human Sacrifice and the Cult of Diana Nemorensis” at the Symposium Cumanum 2012. At Brown, Michiel hopes to work on the divine in Plato and the thought and Nachleben of the Presocratics, while also pursuing his interests in Sanskrit and Roman Satire. He enjoys Tintin, coffee, and roadtrips.

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, he attended the Paideia Institute's spoken Latin and spoken Attic Greek programs in Rome and Selianitika. 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 space (physical and conceptual) in literature, and generally, Latin literature of the high Roman Empire, especially Tacitus. Darrel is currently in the early stages of a dissertation that will investigate the 'conceptual spaces of court society' in the literature of authors who wrote under Domitian, Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian. 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. His thesis examined changes in civic cult in Syrian Antioch during the 4th Century CE through the writings of Libanius. His interests are mainly focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to cultural exchange, changes in urban life, and migration in the later Roman Empire and its neighboring cultures.

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 joins the Classics Department as a recent MA graduate from Brigham Young University. He earned his BA from BYU in Classics and Humanities (2010) with a senior thesis entitled "Pompey Stamped His Foot: Origins of the Pompeian Military Forces in 49-48 BC." His Master’s Thesis, “Horace's Ideal Italy: Sabines and Sabellians in Odes 1-3," reflects his growing interests in ethnography and the iconography of self-promotion in Rome. Keith is primarily interested in the Roman Republic, cultural and literary memories of the civil wars of the first century BC, and the influence of familial history and traditions on Roman historiography.

Dominic Machado (2011)
Email: dominic_machado

Dominic Machado earned a B.A. (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Classics and Economics from Dartmouth College in 2009. In 2010, he entered the University of Pennsylvania post-baccalaureate program before matriculating to Brown the following fall. While at Brown, he has completed special authors in Livy (with Prof. Kurt Raaflaub) and Xenophon (with Prof. Graham Oliver). In the summer of 2014, he participated in the Eric P. Newman Graduate Seminar at the American Numismatic Society. Dominic has also recently published a text, translation and commentary on the Greek historian Sokrates of Argos as a part of Brill's New Jacoby series. His interests include the political thought of the late Republic, Latin historiography and Roman numismatics. 

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 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. She is mainly interested in issues of culture contact and colonialism on the frontiers of the Roman Empire. Her broader interests include Roman historiography, ancient slavery, and Athenian oratory.

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

Visiting Research Fellow 2015

Fabiola Saul (2015)

Fabiola SaulFabiola Saul


Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education from Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, where she is a teacher in the Humanities Department. Also Bachelor in Theology from Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome. She is studying hospitality in Homer’s Odyssey.