Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics | Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow
- Ph.D., University of Washington (Classics)
- M.A., University of Washington (Classics)
- Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania
- B.A., Skidmore College (Classics)
As a scholar and teacher of ancient Greece and Rome, I am interested in reexamining narratives that have been systematically erased from our history books: the stories of women, enslaved people, sex laborers, and non-citizens. I know that we can gain better insight into modern social dynamics by studying the way ancient people lived their lives.
I earned my doctorate at the University of Washington, where my dissertation, “‘Someone Get a Whip!’ Enslaved Women and Violence in Athenian Oratory, Comedy and Curses,” investigated the connection between gender, enslavement, and violence in Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. I also have two forthcoming publications: a chapter in Inscriptions and the Epigraphic Habit, Brill Studies in Greek and Roman Epigraphy that examines why a Latin curse tablet from Roman Britain expresses the desire for its victim to “become liquid,” and a chapter in The Routledge Companion to the Reception of Ancient Greek and Roman Gender and Sexuality that explores potential same-sex relationships in both the Iliad and the television show Xena: Warrior Princess.
Before joining the faculty of Davidson, I taught Greek, Latin, and history courses at the University of Washington and I was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2021. In all of my courses, I prioritize project-based learning and immersive class activities, and I place particular emphasis on using archaeological material to access what daily life was like in ancient Greece and Rome. My teaching interests include Greco-Roman gender and sexuality, slavery and status, race and ethnicity, magic and witchcraft, and graffiti and epigraphy.
When not at work, I enjoy watching LGBTQ films, observing birds on walks, and reading Shakespeare over Zoom with an international group of friends (an activity that began in March 2020 and has persisted ever since).