Current Graduate Students

Elliston P. Bissell Classics & Sanskrit (2010, ABD)

Perot 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. He also completed extensive coursework in Sanskrit, and spent summers studying the language at the South Asia Institute in Heidelberg and the American School of Indian Studies in Pune, India. At Brown, Perot's research has treated the epic poems of India, Greece, and Rome from a comparative perspective. He has presented papers at the American Oriental Society and the University of Vienna, where he was a 2013-14 Fulbright Scholar. His dissertation examines comparable strategies of self-presentation found in Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit epics.

Dissertation: Subsumption and Primacy in Greco-Roman and Indic Epic, supervised by Jay Reed

Sam Butler Ancient History (2015) 

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. 

Justin Byrd Sanskrit (2010) 

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.

Sam Caldis Ancient History (2013) 

Sam Caldis received his BA in Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilizations summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 2011. His research focuses on the politics of brotherhood, succession, and partition in the Roman Empire. Sam is currently the Lead Epigraphic Analyst of the Southeast Europe Digital Documentation Project. During the summer of 2016 he took part in the 62nd Eric P. Newman Graduate Summer Seminar in Numismatics at the American Numismatic Society in New York City while researching experimentation in the depiction of familial groups on Roman imperial coinage during the 3rd century CE.  

Christopher Ell Ancient History (2016) 

Keith Fairbank Ancient History (2012) 

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.

Jeremy Fischer Classics (2016) 

Jeremy Fischer graduated summa cum laude from Boston University in 2015 with a BA in Ancient Greek & Latin and Religion Studies.  His senior thesis examined the ways in which Ovid's Amores reinterprets and deploys the standard gender dynamics of the elegaic genre as a means for Augustan political commentary.  He also participated in a research project that considered how paragraphing  conventions in the manuscript tradition of the Iliad have influenced modern translations and interpretations of that text.  Jeremy's research interests thus far include gender politics in Latin elegy, Augustan rhetoric, and Greek and Roman myth and cult practice.  His work in religion studies has also fostered interests in the history of religion theory, early Christian syncretism, and queer and women's theology. 


Gaia Gianni Classics (2014) 

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. 

Douglas Hill Classics (2016)

Doug studied Religion at Columbia University School of General Studies, where he graduated summa cum laude. His thesis explored ways of understanding the character Karna, an ambivalent figure in the Mahabharata. After working at the Earth Institute at Columbia, Doug attended CUNY’s Summer Latin Institute and then pursued post-baccalaureate studies in Latin and Greek at CUNY-Hunter College. While at Hunter, Doug presented a paper on satirical features in Seneca’s Thyestes at the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Symposium at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Doug’s interests currently include Lucretius and Apuleius and their attitudes toward religion.

Stevie Hull Classics (2012)

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.

William Jacobs Classics (2013)

Darrel Janzen Classics (2011, ABD)

Darrel graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 2011 with majors in History and Classical Studies. He has also studied at the University of the Fraser Valley (A.A., 2006) and at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (2009). Several times over the past few years he has attended the Paideia Institute's spoken Latin (Rome) and spoken Attic Greek (Selianitika) programs, teaching at the latter program in 2016. 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 imperial Latin literature, historiography, Roman topography, and especially the representation of physical space in literature. 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. 

Besides his dissertation, Darrel is also involved in an edition and translation of the Latin poetry of Pierio Valeriano that is under preparation for publication by Harvard University Press as part of the I Tatti Renaissance Library. He is currently in the early stages of a project that investigates the significance of landscape, architecture and the monument in Valeriano's poetry.

Avichai Kapach Classics (2016)

Luther Karper Ancient History (2013) 

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.

Meghan Lescault Classics (2016)

Meghan C. Lescault graduated from Providence College in 2016 summa cum laude with a B.A. in Humanities. Her senior honors thesis, entitled Fata and Fanda: The Role of Fate in the Speech and Silence of Aeneas, examined the extent to which the force of fate influenced the loquacity and taciturnity of figures in the Aeneid. Meghan is looking to shift her interests a few hundred years to include Late Antique and Early Christian authors. She is interested in bridging these time periods by studying the reception of classical works in Late Antiquity—specifically St. Augustine's incorporation of Virgil into his own writings.

Meghan studies Classics with an eye to its place in the development of Western civilization and values its ancient texts as great books of the Western literary canon. She is also interested in the history of the university and of the liberal arts education.

Dominic Machado Ancient History (2011) 

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.

Alvaro Pires Classics (2014)

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.  

Daria Resh Classics (2011, ABD)

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.

Emily Salemi Ancient History (2016)

Emily Salemi graduated with a B.A. in Classics from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY in 2015.  She recently completed an MSc in Classics at the University of Edinburgh, where she studied the variation in commemorative styles of male and female slaves in Imperial Rome.  Her research interests cover various aspects of the interaction between the living and the dead, including the influences of afterlife beliefs on burial practices and the uses of the dead to advance political aims.  At Brown, she hopes to research the language on Roman tombstones in relation to belief in the afterlife.

Mahmoud Samori Ancient History (2013)

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 completed a B.A. in Classics at Columbia University with a thesis on Pausanias Periegetes and the memory of the emperor Nero. 

Fiona Sappenfield Classics (2016)

Fiona earned her BA in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford (New College) in 2016. Her undergraduate work included a thesis on various representations of women of the imperial family in the reign of Hadrian, as compared to imperial women of earlier periods and to the contemporary example of Antinous. Her general research interests include historiography and didactic poetry, as well as early Greek hexameter. She has also studied imperial Roman history and Greek tragedy.

Trigg Settle Classics (2012, ABD)

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.

Kelly Sutherland Ancient History (2014)

Kelly received her B.A. from Stanford University in 2012 where she double majored in Archaeology and Classics (honors, highest distinction). Kelly has also studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (Fall 2010). Her honors thesis assessed the influence of the Roman imperial cult on social mobility in Asia Minor during the 1st-3rd centuries CE. Her past archaeological fieldwork experience has taken her to Turkey (Çatalhöyük), Jordan (ancient Gerasa), England (Binchester), Sicily (Salemi), and Sardinia (S'Urachi). This past summer (2015), Kelly also travelled throughout Greece to participate in “Visible Words: Research and Training in Digital Contextual Epigraphy," a workshop on digital epigraphy. 
Stemming from her own background as a refugee, her research interests center on culture contact in the Roman Empire, particularly in regards to how migration—whether forced or voluntary—affected the lived experiences of subaltern groups. Kelly is interested in how identities, from the collective level to that of the individual, are (re)negotiated in relation to changing power dynamics. Kelly aims to design a research project that addresses the intersections between ancient immigration and citizenship, looking specifically at histories of migration catalyzed by displacement through war or other forceful factors. When Kelly is not trying to fuse her love of classical literature with classical archaeology, she can be found reading 19th and 20th century French novels, playing the piano, or attempting to replicate her mom's Vietnamese dishes.

Jennifer Swalec Classics (2009, ABD)

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. 




Erika Valdivieso Classics (2014)

Erika received her B.A. in Classics from the University of Michigan in 2011, graduating summa cum laude and with highest distinction. 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.  Erika completed a Latin special author on Virgil and the Virgilian tradition with Andrew Laird.  Her Greek special topic will be on ancient literary criticism with Johanna Hanink.  Recent work has taken her into the reception of Plato's Symposium in the Renaissance, with a forthcoming publication in The Classical Tradition in Latin America.  In her free time, she drinks tea, reads 19th century novels, and listens to NPR podcasts.

Michiel van Veldhuizen Classics (2012, ABD)

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 Experience 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.

Jennifer Lewton Yates Classics (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.