CANES Faculty

William Aylward

William Aylward

Professor of Classics (University of Cincinnati, Ph.D. 2000 )
Archaeology, art, architecture, and technology of the ancient Graeco-Roman world; classical myth and the Trojan War; the archaeological site of Troy; the archaeological site of Zeugma on the Euphrates
Phone: 608-263-7498
Office: 968 Van Hise Hall

William Aylward teaches courses on the art and archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome, classical architecture, and classical myth. His research interests include Troy and the Trojan War, ancient Greek and Roman architecture and technology, cities and sanctuaries of Asia Minor, and the archaeological site of Zeugma on the Euphrates. He participated in the annual expedition to Troy with the Universities of Tübingen and Cincinnati between 1996 and 2012. He has edited three volumes on the rescue excavations at Zeugma for The Packard Humanities Institute (

Jeffery Beneker

Jeffrey Beneker

Department Chair, Professor of Classics (North Carolina, Ph.D. 2003)
Ancient Biography and Historiography, Roman Republican History and Civilization, Classical Mythology
Phone: 608-262-3320
Office: 904 Van Hise Hall

Jeffrey Beneker's primary research interest is in Greco-Roman biography and historiography. He has written a book on Plutarch's biographical method, The Passionate Statesman: Eros and Politics in Plutarch's Lives (Oxford University Press 2012), and articles on Plutarch, Cornelius Nepos, Suetonius, and Homer. He has recently completed, with Craig Gibson (University of Iowa), an edition of the progymnasmata of Nikephoros Basilakes for the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (Harvard University Press 2016). He is currently writing a biography of Pompey the Great (under contract with Princeton University Press), and with Georgia Tsouvala, (Illinois State University) he is co-editing a book on the discourse of marriage in the Greek and Latin literature of the Roman Empire (under contract with University of Wisconsin Press). In addition to teaching courses in Greek and Latin language and literature, he teaches lecture courses on Classical Mythology, Greco-Roman religion, and Roman Civilization.

Jeff Blakely

Jeffrey Blakely

Adjunct Professor of Biblical Archaeology (University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. 1990)
Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Biblical Archaeology, History of Archaeology in the Near East

Jeff’s primary research interest is the archaeology of the Hesi region, between Gaza and Hebron, over the past ten millennia.  He started working in the Hesi region in 1971.  He currently co-directs the Hesi Regional Project in association with Jimmy Hardin of Mississippi State University.  He has published many books and articles on the archaeology and history of the Hesi region.  Currently he is preparing the final report on the archaeological survey of the Hesi region with Jimmy Hardin and a lengthy multi-author article on the archaeology of the 10th century BCE in the Hesi region.  He has also worked at Caesarea Maritima (Israel), Wadi al-Jubah (Yemen), Aqaba (Jordan), and at various sites in the United States, publishing reports with each of the research groups.  He teaches various courses in the archaeology of Ancient Israel/Biblical Archaeology as well as directed study courses on archaeology and culture in the Holy Land.

William Brockliss

William Brockliss

Assistant Professor of Classics (Yale University, Ph.D. 2011)
Homer, Greek literature; interactions between literary texts and the natural environment; monsters and the monstrous; the classical tradition
Office: 964 Van Hise Hall

Will Brockliss’ current research focuses on the natural and the unnatural. He is working on a monograph that explores interactions between Homeric floral imagery and flowers in the Greek natural environment. He is also developing projects on monstrousness in ancient Greek texts, both as a quality of characters within those texts, and as a characteristic of the texts themselves. This research has contributed to two courses that Will has taught at UW: Ancient Monsters, and Eco-Classics: Greening the Greeks, Recycling the Romans. A further interest in the classical tradition has led him to work on two co-edited volumes, both from Cambridge University Press. The first of these, Reception and the Classics, showcases interdisciplinary approaches to classical reception. The second appeared in 2015, entitled Learning Latin and Greek from Antiquity to the Present; it surveys continuities and change over the histories of Latin and Greek as second languages. Having already carried out research into martial imagery as part of his project on flowers in Homer, he hopes in a future monograph to explore reactions to conflict in the poetry of the Peloponnesian War and the First World War. In contrast to his existing investigations into the classical tradition, and to the historical emphasis favored by other studies of ancient and modern literature, he would take a comparative approach to these two bodies of poetry.


Alex Dressler

Assistant Professor of Classics (Washington, Ph.D. 2009)
Republican and Imperial Latin Literature, Ancient (esp. Hellenistic) Philosophy, Christian Latin Literature, Gender and Sexuality, Theory and Criticism, Ancient and Modern Aesthetic Theory, Ancient Materialism and Idealism
Phone: 608-263-1184
Office: 906 Van Hise Hall

Alex Dressler is committed to the Greek and Roman classics as an evolving canon of texts and methods rooted in the European tradition but aimed at redefining the modern reader’s practical sense of art and life, past and present, and politics and personal flourishing. Focusing on the Roman world, publications include articles on feminism and the ancient novel, exemplarity and ancient rhetoric, deconstruction and the sociology of literature, tragedy and psychoanalysis, and comedy and ancient aesthetic theory. His book on the intersection of philosophy and literature and the gendering of personhood in Lucretius, Cicero, and Seneca is entitled Personification and the Feminine in Roman Philosophy and was published by Cambridge University Press in August of 2016. In addition to Greek and Latin in all genres for students at all levels, Alex’s teaching reflects his wider concerns and includes courses on the subjects of art and ethics in Greece and Rome, the history of the self in antiquity and modernity, sex and power in the ancient world, and ancient literary criticism.  Current topics of research include the influence of Sappho on the late antique Christian quasi-monk Paulinus of Nola, the monetization of philosophical quotations in Seneca the Younger, and the concept of "critical aesthetics" in Foucault, Adorno, and the Roman poet Horace.
Jeremy Hutton

Jeremy M. Hutton

Associate Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature (Harvard University, Ph.D. 2005)
Northwest Semitic languages; Symbolic geography of ancient Israel; Formation and structure of the Hebrew Bible (especially Joshua–Kings); Anthropological, sociological, and linguistic approaches in biblical interpretation
Office: 960 Van Hise Hall

Professor Hutton specializes in the social and linguistic contexts in which the Hebrew Bible was composed and edited. He has published articles in several journals, including Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, and Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages. His monograph on the symbolism of the Jordan River in the Hebrew Bible, The Transjordanian Palimpsest, was published by de Gruyter in 2009. He is currently working on projects in several sub-fields of Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitics, including the composition and reception history of the book of Samuel; translation in antiquity; Palmyrene Aramaic epigraphy; the roles of priests and Levites in Iron Age Israel; and cognitive linguistic approaches to Hebrew semantics. Professor Hutton teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Hebrew Bible and the Northwest Semitic languages.
Alice Mandell

Alice Mandell

Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature (UCLA, Ph.D. 2015)
Northwest Semitics; Akkadian; Israelite religions; Ancient Near Eastern history and literature; Sociolinguistic approaches to the evolution of writing and script choice
Office: 958 Van Hise Hall

Alice began her new position of Assistant Professor in the department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the summer of 2016. She is a former Fulbright scholar. She was also the winner of the 2016 David Noel Freedman Award for Excellence and Creativity in Hebrew Bible Scholarship for her paper entitled, “The Adoption of the ‘Adoption’ Formula in Inner-biblical Discourse.” Her book Cuneiform Culture and the Ancestors of Hebrew is planned for publication in Routledge's The Ancient World series. Past research includes a sociolinguistic approach to the Canaanite Amarna Letters and the development of Canaanite cuneiform practices. Her research on this topic examines multilingualism and code-switching in contexts of written diplomacy in the Late Bronze Age. Her research on the Iron Age Levant examines the question of literacy in ancient Israel and the use of writing in contexts of ritual and performance. Currently, she is co-authoring a book and several articles that examine the materiality of ritual and religious spaces in ancient Israel and Judah (Reconstructing Israelite and Judean Religions: Religion as Performance and Materiality [London: Routledge, 2017]). She is also co-authoring a translation of the Amarna Letters for SBL’s Writings From the Ancient World series. This book will offer an extensive critical apparatus as well as discussions of the geo-political context of individual letters.

Laura McClure

Laura McClure

Professor of Classics (University of Chicago, Ph.D)
Athenian drama, ancient gender studies, classical reception
Phone: 608-263-8269
Office: 916 Van Hise Hall

Laura McClure's diverse research interests focus on Athenian drama, the study of women in the ancient world, and classical reception. Her publications include books on the representation of women in Athenian drama and the courtesan in the Greek literary tradition:  Spoken Like a Woman:  Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama (Princeton, 1999) and Courtesans at Table:  Gender and Greek Literary Culture in Athenaeus (Routledge 2003). She has edited three volumes on the subject of women in antiquity, including Making Silence Speak:  Women's Voices in Greek Literature and Society, with André Lardinois (Princeton, 2001), Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World, with C. A. Faraone (Wisconsin, 2006), and Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World (Blackwell, 2008). She has published numerous articles, most recently an analysis of the role of women in tragic recognition scenes. She is currently completing a textbook about women in ancient Greece and Rome (under contract with Blackwell). Another project on the reception of the Greek chorus is underway. Laura regularly teaches advanced Greek language courses, Women and Gender in the Classical World, Civilization of Ancient Greece, and Ancient Drama in translation.

JC McKeown

J C McKeown

Professor of Classics (Cambridge, Ph.D. 1978)
Greek and Roman Poetry and Culture
Phone: 608-262-9755
Office: 914 Van Hise Hall

Professor McKeown has recently published (with Peter Knox) An Anthology of Roman Literature (Oxford 2013), and they now working on a companion volume on Greek literature. He has also published A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities (Oxford 2013), a companion to A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities (Oxford 2010). He is working (with Joshua Smith) on The Hippocrates Code, a medical terminology course, and (with Megan Dickman and Asa Olsen) on a commentary on Plautus’s Rudens, and (with Eric Cox) on a reader to accompany his introductory Latin course, Classical Latin (Hackett 2010). The fourth volume of his commentary on Ovid’s Amores is nearing completion, and will be published in the next few years. In addition to teaching courses in Greek and Latin language and literature, Professor McKeown teaches lecture courses in Ancient Medicine and in Greek and Roman Civilization.

Grant Nelsestuen

Grant Nelsestuen

Assistant Professor of Classics (University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. 2008)
Roman cultural history, Latin prose, ancient geography and the representation of space, Late Hellenistic intellectual history
Phone: 608-265-5910
Office: 908 Van Hise Hall

Professor Nelsestuen primarily studies Latin literature and Roman cultural history. He is currently completing a monograph on the first century BC Roman statesman and intellectual, Marcus Terentius Varro. In addition to his work on Varro, he has written articles on Cicero’s political philosophy and Vergil’s Aeneid. He teaches courses on Greek and Latin language and literature as well as Roman civilization, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, and ancient and modern conspiracies.

Nandini Pandey

Nandini Pandey

Assistant Professor of Classics (UC Berkeley, Ph.D. 2011)
Latin poetry; Augustan literature and culture; the classical tradition
Office: 910 Van Hise Hall

Dr. Pandey's research focuses on Latin poetry in its complex relationship with early imperial art and political power. Her current book project, Inventing Augustus: The Poetics of Power in Early Imperial Rome, explores how Vergil, Horace, and the elegists, especially Ovid, responded to Augustan iconography in ways that shaped its perception in subsequent culture. She has recently published an article on the semiotic evolution of the Julian star (TAPA, Fall 2013) and has forthcoming articles on Vergil and the Forum Augustum (Vergilius, Fall 2014) and the dilemma in Lucan’s Pharsalia (ICS, Fall 2014). Dr Pandey came to Classics via her love of English literature and pursued second degrees in English at Oxford and Cambridge. She plans to return to this subject while maintaining her interest in genre, reception, and intertextuality with her next project, an examination of female revenge figures within Greek, Roman, and Renaissance English drama. 

Patricia Rosenmeyer

Patricia A. Rosenmeyer

Professor of Classics (Princeton, Ph.D. 1987)
Archaic and Hellenistic Greek Poetry, Epistolary Fiction, Imperial Greek Literature, Classical Reception
Phone: 608-265-3508
Office: 966 Van Hise Hall

Professor Rosenmeyer's areas of specialization are Greek poetry (Archaic and Hellenistic), epistolary narratives, Imperial Greek literature, and classical reception. She is an Affiliate of Comparative Literature, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Integrated Liberal Studies Program. Patricia is a past recipient of Marshall, ACLS and NEH fellowships, as well as UW's Letters & Science Faculty Advising Award (2012). Her publications include The Poetics of Imitation: Anacreon and the anacreontic tradition (Cambridge 1992); Ancient Epistolary Fictions: the Letter in Greek Literature (Cambridge 2001); Ancient Greek Literary Letters: Selections in Translation (Routledge 2006); and (as co-editor) Epistolary Narratives in Ancient Greek Literature (Brill 2013), as well as numerous articles on Greek poetry. She is currently working on a book entitled The Language of Ruins: Greek and Latin Inscriptions of the Memnon Colossus (Oxford, forthcoming 2017), articles on Sappho, and a comparison of inscriptional and epistolary discourse. Future projects will involve the reception of Greek poetry by German, Hebrew, and Yiddish poets of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to teaching courses on Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels, she frequently teaches ILS 203:Western Literature and the Arts 1, Classics 373:Helen of Troy, Classics 376: Love Poetry of the Mediterranean, and Classics 554:Classical Receptions of English Literature.

Mike Vanden Heuval

Mike Vanden Heuvel

Professor of Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies (UW-Madison, Ph.D. 1988)
Dramatic Criticism, Theatre and Performance Theory
Office: 952 Van Hise Hall

Mike joined CANES in 2015 when he transferred from the Department of Theatre and Drama. For the graduate program in ITS, he teaches courses in dramatic literature (primarily British, American, and Continental), dramatic criticism, and theatre and performance theory ranging from Shakespeare to the European avant-garde and postdramatic theatre. His CANES teaching will include a course on the reinterpretation of classical plays by contemporary experimental theatre artists as well as offerings in the Classical Humanities track (Literature and the Arts, Renaissance to Remix; Theatre and Science, Classical to Contemporary).

Mike is an affiliate faculty member in several areas (Integrated Liberal Studies; Visual Cultures; Celtic Studies; Center for European Studies) and an active contributor to International Studies and the UW Study Abroad program, having developed and taught in programs in London, Dublin and Florence.

He is author of Performing Drama/Dramatizing Performance: Alternative Theater and the Dramatic Text (U Michigan); Elmer Rice: A Research and Production Sourcebook (Greenwood); and Decades of American Playwriting: The 1970s (Methuen, 2017) as well as essays on theatre pedagogy, dramatic literature, and performance theory. He is currently at work on a history of experimental American theatre companies post-1970 for Methuen.

Current research interests also focus on interdisciplinary studies of theatre and science, a field in which he has published extensively. He is collecting these essays for a volume devoted to theatre and science and tentatively entitled “‘Congregations Rich with Entropy’: Performance and the Emergence of Complexity.”