Assistant Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
A lifelong Californian, I finished my BA in History and then a Post-Baccalaureate in Classical Languages at the University of California, Davis. mM senior thesis, probing Herodotus’ allusions to events from after the Persian Wars, sparked my fascination with Greek historical writing. While I enrolled in AHMA to study my other chief interest--the early Christian church--the rich disciplinary range of AHMA’s faculty have generated interests in Second-Temple Judaism, late Archaic and Classical Sparta, Hebrew historical and prophetic discourse, and Roman art.
My current work, however, probes and contextualizes ancient historiographical discourse at what is usually called the transition between the pagan and Christian Empire. My study of the first history of the Christian church, the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, is a case study of Christian thinkers' harnessing traditional Greek genres to showcase the Christians: I show in particular how, by portraying the church through the genre of philosophical biography, Eusebius appropriated the prestige of philosophical activity for Christian magnates of the past. This strategy both contested the superiority of previous Greek and Roman histories and asserted that the church fit seamlessly into preexisting Greco-Roman social structures, right when Constantine was emerging to plug the church into them. My work thus challenges the sharp divide that classicists, ancient historians, and early Christian specialists usually draw between "pagan" and "Christian" cultures and discourses.
I love teaching; I have taught Christianity to Charlemagne, Ancient History (both surveys and thematic courses), Classical Mythology, Greek Civilization, Introductory Greek and Latin, and the Great Books of the Ancient World (Gilgamesh to Augustine). When not wrestling with Greek texts, I enjoy touring the Bay Area on my bicycle, seeing new films, reading (especially philosophy and politics), and gardening.