Graduate Students

Classics

Kate Meng Brassel

Year: 5
Interests: Humour in the Late Roman Republic, Persius, Imperial Geography
Email: kmb2028@columbia.edu
Office: 611 Hamilton Hall
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Kate has been fixated on Persius for approximately 9 years. The obscure poet led her to Lucan and through him to geography of the empire, and, on the other hand, backwards to the humour of the late Republic. Her own utter lack of a sense of humour has forced her to ask "What is funny?" She does not yet have her answer, but is determined that her dissertation will provide one. 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 Crosson

Year: 3
Interests: Latin literature of the Silver Age; Rhetoric; Aesthetics
Email: imc2113@columbia.edu
Office:  
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BA in Classics summa cum laude from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart (Milan, 2010); MA in Classics from Columbia University (New York, 2012). Isaia grew up in France and Italy, where he began to study Ancient Greek and Latin at fourteen. His broad interest in the field of the Classics led him to perfect his knowledge not only in Philology (his main area of expertise), but also in Ancient History, Ancient Philosophy and Linguistics. Before starting his PhD, Isaia taught classes in Latin language at Collegio San Francesco (Lodi, Italy, 2009-10) and in Roman Civilization at Montclair University (New Jersey, 2012). His current research focuses on the value of prophecies in Lucan's Pharsalia and, more generally, on the phenomenology of divine possession in the Greek and Roman world. In addition, Isaia is highly interested in the rhetorical contention between Atticism and Asianism and in Pseudo-Longinus' reflections upon literary sublimity.

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Mathias Hanses

Year: 5
Interests: Ancient Drama and Latin Literature; Historiography; Wordplay; Reception
Email: mh3067@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Mathias spent his first years of graduate education in his native Germany, where he earned an MA in American Studies from the University of Münster (2009). Αfter crossing the Atlantic, he followed up with an MA in Classics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2009) and an MPhil (Classics, 2012) from Columbia University. In New York, he has been focusing mainly on Greek and Roman drama and its reception in Latin prose and poetry. He has published on political biases in Roman Republican historiography, ancient wordplay, the History of Classical Scholarship, U.S.-American appropriations of the classics, as well as Plautine Comedy's impact on early Imperial epic (Ovid and Statius). For details, see www.tinyurl.com/HansesCV. Mathias has served as editorial assistant to TAPA under Prof. Katharina Volk, and his dissertation is examining "The Life of Comedy after the Death of Plautus", tracing the Romans' creative engagement with the comic heritage from Cicero to Statius. When not at his desk or teaching Greek and Latin, Mathias enjoys exploring New York (and the rest of the continent) by kayak, bike, or motorcycle.

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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:  
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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: Tuesday 8:00pm-9:00pm and Thursday 5:00pm-6:00pm

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: Ancient aesthetics and rhetoric; Ancient medicine; Translation
Email: ump2102@columbia.edu
Office: 615 Hamilton Hall
Office Hours: Monday 1:00pm-3:00pm

Ursula Poole received her A.B. in Classics at the University of Chicago in 2009. She has written and presented on the Stoic passions in Seneca's Thyestes and metaphor in Plutarch's Moralia. In her free time she enjoys translation and other creative writing projects, 19th century Russian literature, and taking walks in the 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: Tuesday and Thursday 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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Jennifer Wasson

Year: 6
Interests: Translation, Reception, and Imperial Latin (especially Seneca)
Email: jaw2187@columbia.edu
Office:  
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Jenny Wasson grew up in California and Arizona, those strange places where "old" means from the 1960's and "snow" is something you see on TV. She began studying Latin as a teenager as a way to channel her unattainable desire to become a 19th century British Egyptologist into the most related field offered by her high school. It turned out Latin was pretty cool in its own right, so she stuck with it. After getting her BA in Latin and Greek at Vassar, Jenny spent the next year working on a dig in Greece, toiling in paper sales in New York, and pining to return to dead languages. When not buried in a Greek or Latin dictionary, she enjoys cooking, running, and sporadically practicing the clarinet.

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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