Associate Professor, Roman History
- Roman history
- Latin literature
- BA (Hons.) (McGill)
- PhD (Stanford)
A native of Sackville, New Brunswick, I grew up in Ottawa and have also lived in Montreal, Paris, San Francisco, and Toronto. After earning a B.A. (Hons.) in Classics from McGill University in 2001, I studied at Stanford University, where I received my Ph.D. in 2006. In my dissertation I analysed rhetorical education in the Imperial period, laying special emphasis on the relationship of ancient literary theory to the performance of epic. I have taught courses in both Greek and Latin language at all levels, at Stanford and as an Assistant Professor at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts). In addition to scholarly work, I have published two historical novels for young readers set in the Roman world (The Roman Conspiracy and The Ancient Ocean Blues); a third will be published this spring (Chariots of Gaul). I am the composer and performer of a historical Canadian epic poem, The Plains of Abraham, and am a regular contributor to the Literary Review of Canada, at which I am an Online Editor. I am an enthusiastic composer in Latin and promoter of Latin verse composition, and I amuse myself with translating Latin poetry (at the moment, Juvenal and Propertius) into formal English verse. Much more information about me is available at my personal website, www.jackmitchell.ca.
At Dalhousie I teach courses in Roman history, the history of antiquity, and Latin and Greek language. The focus of my current research is on the relationship between competitive performance practices in ancient “grammatical” (i.e. secondary) education and the oratorical culture of self-presentation that was the basis of politics and society under the Roman Empire; I hope to publish a book on this subject in the next year. My larger intellectual interest lies in the intersection of aesthetics, ethics, language, and politics as the perennial site of civilisation-building in the West.
In the past I have collaborated with scholars from around the world on various projects in the expanding world of the digital humanities, playing a leading role on the Homer Multitext Project (based at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC) and on the Latin and Greek Treebanking Project at the Perseus Project (based at Tufts University).