Graduate Students

Classics

Kate Meng Brassel

Year: 4
Interests: Satire, Philosophy of the early Roman Empire, Music, Engaged Pedagogy 
Email: kmb2028@columbia.edu
Office: 618 Hamilton Hall
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Kate is writing her dissertation, “A Comedy of Philosophers,” on the Neronian satirist Persius and his relationship to Greek literary and philosophical traditions, including Plato and Aristophanes. Her interest in the discourses of Persius' contemporaries has now extended to Epictetus, on whose diatribes she is working in parallel to her dissertation. Kate is committed to engaged pedagogy as a means of empowerment and change. In her spare time, Kate has dabbled in musical composition for Roman verse.

B.A .Columbia, M.Phil. Cambridge, M.A. Princeton

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Claire Catenaccio

Year: ABD
Interests: Mythology, Archaic Greek epic, Greek & Roman drama
Email: cec2164@columbia.edu
Office: 617 Hamilton Hall
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Claire Catenaccio received her A.B. in Classics from Harvard University in 2007, and completed her M.Phil. in Classics at Oxford in 2009, where she was also awarded a teaching certification. Her main areas of interest are Homer and ancient drama. She has written on the significance of lamed figures in Greek mythology, on the use of masks in Attic tragedy, and on the role of dreams in the plays of Aeschylus. Her dissertation deals with monody and actor's lyric in the plays of Euripides. As an dramaturge and director, she has also worked extensively with modern stagings of ancient drama

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Yujhán Claros

Year: 2
Interests: Poetry, Fitness, Fashion, Social Justice, Liberation of oppressed peoples
Email: yc2900@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Yujhán, the son of Salvadoran war refugees, is a native Hudson County, New Jersey. An alumnus of Phillips Exeter Academy, where he studied Latin and Greek and earned a Classical Diploma, he obtained a bachelor of arts in Classics from Princeton University. For his senior thesis, he composed a stress-accented hexametre poem in English, titled the "Martinid," about the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Before starting at Columbia, he taught Latin at a charter school in Red Hook, Brooklyn and then served as an immigration paralegal in Midtown Manhattan.

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Maria Combatti

Year: 2
Interests: Colloquial language in Greek and Latin literature; Discourse of abuse; Popular morality.
Email: mc3339@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Maria Combatti received her B.A. in Classics from University of Cassino, Italy in 2004 with a thesis entitled “Colloquialisms and Proverbs in Cratinus” and completed a M.A. from University of Naples “L’Orientale” in Didactic of Greek and Latin. After graduation she taught Latin and Greek at public High Schools in Italy for two years. She then moved to New York in 2009 where she taught Italian. Her interests mainly focus on colloquial speech: one of her preoccupations is the language spoken by Greeks and Romans to their friends and families in informal settings. She is also interested in the discourse of abuse and forms related to popular morality such as proverbs, fables, exemplary stories, and gnomic quotations. During her free time she loves going to the cinema and enjoying avant-garde and classical concerts.

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Anna Conser

Year: 3
Interests: Aesthetics of paradox/wonder in Greek and Latin poetry, Ancient geography/cosmography
Email: adc2162@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Anna Conser received her B.A. in 2007 from Carleton College, followed by additional study at the University of Damascus, Syria (2009-10).  In 2010 she received a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany to conduct research on Herodotus and ancient geography.  Her interests circle around the aesthetics of paradox/wonder in both Greek and Latin poetry, as well as ancient geography/cosmography.  Classical Arabic reception still lurks in the shadows.  Anna also attempts balance the intake of so much ancient wonder and beauty with endeavors to produce some of her own, particularly in film and musical theater.

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Isaia M. Crosson

Year: 3
Interests: Greek and Latin prose; Ancient rhetoric; Classics and critical theory
Email: imc2113@columbia.edu
Office: 618 Hamilton Hall
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B.A. in Classics summa cum laude from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, 2010); M.A. in Classics from Columbia University (New York, 2012). Isaia grew up in France and Italy, where he fell in love with the Classics at fourteen. Before starting his Ph.D., he taught classes in Greek and Latin grammar at the Collegio San Francesco (Lodi, Italy, 2009-10) and in Roman Civilization at Montclair State University (New Jersey, 2012). During the doctoral program, he has written and presented on various topics, such as the sociopolitical value of Varro’s Antiquitates Rerum Diuinarum (SCS 2015). Isaia’s current research focuses on the rhetoric and literary techniques of ancient historians; more precisely, he is writing about issues of style and truthfulness in Thucydides’ History. In his free time, Isaia enjoys traveling and photographing the world.

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Carina de Klerk

Year: 1
Interests: Ancient drama, Greek poetry, literary theory, ecstatic experiences
Email: cd2785@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Greek tragedy is Carina de Klerk's first true love. With her research, Carina aims to understand tragedy, how it came about and why it came about as it did and what it is that tragedy does, especially with regards to a social function. These are the large questions, part of even larger questions about the power of theater and art, more generally. She doesn’t have any answers, nor does she expect to have any, not anytime soon. She has been engaging practically with these questions since 2011, when she co-founded Oimoi Productions (with Dr. Lynn Kozak, McGill University). And although tragedy is the love of her life, it is also true that she has a wandering eye. She tends to be attracted to representations of the mad and other kinds of alterity, wherever they may be found. When not studying, she enjoys exploring, biking, and taking in a show. BA and MA McGill University

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Sarah Kaczor

Year: 6
Interests: Latin poetry of the late republic/early empire, Hellenistic poetry, classical tradition
Email: skk2129@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Sarah Kaczor received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in Classics and English, taught high school Latin and English for three years, and completed a postbac at Columbia.

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Charles McNamara

Year: 6
Interests: Rhetorical theory in antiquity and its reception; Ancient philosophy; Ancient education
Email: cjm2173@columbia.edu
Office:  
Office Hours: MW 9:00am-10:50am

Charley McNamara began his study of the Classics as an undergraduate at Harvard University. After he received his A.B. in 2007, he joined Teach for America and taught high school English in rural Arkansas, where he also taught weekend Latin classes to a real estate agent and a casino card dealer. His dissertation focuses on the concept of certainty in antiquity, particularly in Quintilian, and its afterlife in Early Modern authors such as Lorenzo Valla and Giambattista Vico. More broadly, he is interested in notions of proof in the rhetorical tradition, ancient education, and associated topics in ancient philosophy. He also works as a summer instructor for the Paideia Institute's Living Latin in Rome program.  When he gets his nose out of the books, he finds himself running marathons, memorizing obscure two- and three-letter words for Scrabble, and brushing up his piano playing.

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Simone Oppen

Year: 4
Interests: Greek tragedy and Hellenistic poetry
Email: sao2126@columbia.edu
Office: 615 Hamilton Hall
Office Hours: TR 5:30pm-6:00pm
T 8:00pm-9:00pm

Simone grew up in a tiny town in northern California and received a B.A. in Classical Languages and Comparative Literature (with a minor in Dance and Performance Studies) from U.C. Berkeley in 2009. She took her first Latin course in her sophomore year of college and graduated four years later after directing the first production in ancient Greek on the Berkeley campus in over 80 years and writing an honors thesis on a textual issue in Euripides’ Hippolytus. After graduation she taught at an Italian language immersion preschool in San Francisco for two years. She also taught SAT preparation courses and Latin as a substitute teacher. When she is not studying, she enjoys running in the park, practicing yoga, and seeing performances in NYC.

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Ursula Poole

Year: 3
Interests: Attic oratory, rhetoric, aesthetics, and philosophy of mind
Email: ump2102@columbia.edu
Office: 604 Hamilton Hall
Office Hours: M 4:00pm-6:00pm

Ursula Poole received her A.B. in Classics at the University of Chicago in 2009.

​Her interests revolve around oratory of the Classical period and ancient rhetoric, and she is currently developing a dissertation in this field. She has presented papers at national conferences on various topics, including the passions in Seneca's Thyestes​ (APA 2013)​, metaphor in Plutarch's Moralia​​ and Sophocles' Trachiniae (CAMWS 2013-14), and bodily imagery in Longinus' On the Sublime​ (SCS 2015)​. ​She is currently co-organizing a conference with William Harris through the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean entitled "Pain and Pleasure in Classical Antiquity". In her free time, she enjoys traveling, ​20th century American literature, film (Almodóvar, Bergman, Fellini), ​creative writing projects (translation and poetry), and taking walks in Central Park with her beloved Great Dane, Atticus.

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Elia Rudoni

Year: 3
Interests: Latin poetry
Email: er2598@columbia.edu
Office: 615 Hamilton Hall
Office Hours: R 1:00pm-2:00pm

Elia received both his BA and MA in Classics from Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. He mainly focuses on Augustan poetry and late Latin historiography, and has published articles on the s.c. Historia Augusta, Aurelius Victor, and Propertius. He is currently studying puns in pseudo-Trebellius Pollio.

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Ashley Simone

Year: 3
Interests: Literature of the Augustan-era, Classical reception, Intersection of philosophy and poetry
Email: aas2261@columbia.edu
Office:  
Office Hours: Tuesday and Friday 1:00pm-2:15pm

Ashley Simone graduated from Baylor University in 2011 as a University Scholar with a concentration in Classics. As an undergraduate, Ashley volunteered at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, studied abroad at the University of St. Andrews, and rode for Baylor’s NCAA women’s equestrian team. She wrote her senior honors thesis on dysfunctional art in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

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Caleb Simone

Year: 1
Interests: Greek poetry, music, and performance; Greek art; ancient aesthetics
Email: cs3142@columbia.edu
Office:  
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With a B.A. from Baylor University, Caleb received a post-baccalaureate certificate in Classics from Columbia before beginning the doctoral program in 2014. He is interested in Homeric poetry, Greek song culture, and tragedy, as well as the visual arts and notions of aesthetics in ancient Greek culture. Caleb has presented on representations of performance in the ekphrasis of Achilles’ shield and on the use of epinikion in Euripides’ Andromache. His current projects include affective performance in the parodos of the Agamemnon, the new music in later Euripidean fragments, and approaches to genre in archaic Greek lyric.

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Barbara Vinck

Year: 3
Interests: Literature of the late republic/early empire; multivocality; spectacle; reception
Email: bev2106@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Barbara Vinck received her B.A. and M.A. in English and Latin from Ghent University, Belgium, where she worked mainly on the Renaissance reception of classical literature. In 2011, she received a Belgian American Education Foundation and Francqui Foundation fellowship for an M.A. in Classics at Columbia University. She taught TOEFL and IELTS preparation courses in China before returning to Columbia for her Ph.D. In analyzing classical literature, she focuses on complications of narrative: omissions, irony, ambiguity, and interruptions of the fictional façade. In her free time, she enjoys working her way through best-of lists of novels, exploring the city, and reading with children.

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  • Contact Info

  • Department of Classics
    1130 Amsterdam Avenue
    617 Hamilton Hall, MC 2861
    New York, NY 10027

  • Phone: (212) 854-3902
    Fax: (212) 854-7856
    Email: classics@columbia.edu