Greetings from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Classical Languages at Wake Forest University!

Even as we look forward to the arrival of new students and the beginning of a new semester in August, we look back on a busy and productive year for the Department.

We welcomed Stephen Blair from Princeton who joined us this past spring while Professor Michael Sloan was on leave; he will stay on for the coming academic year. In addition, we will be joined by Dr. Caitlin Hines from the University of Toronto as Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow, and by Dr. Cary Barber of Ohio State University, who will be teaching for us this fall while Professor John Oksanish is on parental leave. You’ll hear more about them over the semester.

Speaking of Professor Oksanish, he earned promotion and tenure this spring, and Professor Brian Warren was also promoted. In this newsletter you’ll find pictures of them, and of our other award recipients, both students and faculty members.

Please remember that we’re always glad to hear from you. In addition to Homecoming (November 2-3), consider coming to the biennial meeting of the Southern Section of CAMWS, here in Winston-Salem on October 17-20.

If you aren’t able to come in person, please write. We always welcome your news and the opportunity to share it.

With all good wishes,

Mary Pendergraft

Department Chair and Professor

Faculty News and Awards

Introducing Caitlin Hines, Teacher-Scholar Post-Doctoral Fellow of Classical Languages 

Caitlin Hines received her BA in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 and her PhD in Classics from the University of Toronto in June of 2018. Her research examines the fertility politics of Augustan poetry, with additional focus on Roman and Hellenistic ekphrasis and metapoetics. She is currently at work on a philological study of the word “viscera” as a lexical touchstone for anxieties about civil strife and reproduction at Rome. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys exploring trails with her dog, Moseley, listening to podcasts, and going to see plays and musicals. She is also a tap dancer and choreographer. 

Professor T. H. M. Gellar-Goad and Professor Amy Lather win Innovative Teaching Award! 

Congratulations to the newest Innovative Teaching Award Recipients, which include Professor T. H. M. Gellar-Goad and Professor Amy Lather for their collaboration on the course Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Antiquity! The Innovative Teaching Award recognizes faculty who have redesigned their courses or introduced new courses with innovative research-based approaches to teaching and used new methods and/or technologies to improve student learning.  Photos taken by

This course was taught in Fall 2017 and was designed to study sexuality in the ancient world. In the class, students created an “imaginary persona of an intersectional feminist professor of Classics, and then role-play[ed] as that professor throughout the semester in class.” A celebration reception was held at 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 in the Teaching and Learning Collaborative Faculty Lounge of ZSR Library! For more information, click here!

Read more about the achievements of our faculty from this past year by clicking here.


John Oksanish was promoted to Associate Professor of Classical Languages with tenure at Wake Forest! This picture was taken at the Tenure & Promotion Champagne Reception held on Friday, April 27th. John Oksanish is pictured with Dean Michele Gillespie and Provost Rogan Kersh.

Brian Warren was promoted to Associate Teaching Professor! A reception was held in the Byrum Welcome Center on Thursday, May 10th.

Student News

William Morgan, Class of 2019 (Latin Minor), had his article “‘Quod Mirabilius Est’ Replacing a Fragment of Cicero’s De Re Publica” published last Spring in the Aisthesis: Undergraduate Journal of Classical Studies, run by the Stanford University Department of Classics. William’s project, funded through a Wake Forest College Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Center grant, was mentored by Professor John Oksanish.

Check out this year’s student’s National Latin and National Greek Exam results by clicking on the hyperlink!

Spotlight on Graduates 

Click a student’s name to read more about their plans for after graduation, their happiest memory from the department, and what they will miss the most.

Cheyenne Zuck (’18)

Juilee Shivalkar (’18)

Sarah Mulloy (’18) 

Eta Sigma Phi

Eta Sigma Phi Captains, Karen, Sawyer, and William, along with Latin major Sarah Mulloy, Biology/Latin major Alexander Horn, and Professor John Oksanish participated in Hit the Bricks on September 28, 2017. Hit the Bricks is a Wake Forest tradition consisting of a team relay on the Upper Quad that raises money towards finding a cure for cancer. It was 90 degrees with sunny skies!

During the spring semester, Wake Forest sent a delegation to the 90th Annual Eta Sigma Phi Convention at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Representing our Chapter were Eta Sigma Phi President William Morgan, Vice President Karen Gusmer, Secretary Sawyer Jones and Professor Mary Pendergraft, who is a member of the Board of Trustees.

Cheyenne Zuck was awarded the M. D. Phillips Award, which honors our outstanding graduating major. In addition, Mark Brown received the Society of Classical Studies Outstanding Student Award, and Matt Hayes received the Outstanding Student Award from the Classical Association of the Middle-West and South. Pictured here are Cheyenne and Mark at this year’s Eta Sigma Phi Initiation in the Autumn Room of Reynolda Hall. 

 2017-2018 Department Talks

Each semester, the Department of Classical Languages hosts several events that feature work-in-progress talks by our faculty members and also bring distinguished scholars to campus in person or via video conferencing for lectures and seminars. This year we brought professors from the University of South Carolina, Mississippi State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Texas at Austin.  Read more about this year’s department talks by clicking here.

2018-18 Events

This September saw the 2nd annual Wake Forest Ancient Olympics, attended by students and alums of Professor Gellar-Goad’s first-year seminar, Beware the Ides, Beware the Hemlock: Roleplaying Crisis in Ancient Greece & Rome. Participants recited hymns to the gods and victory odes (epinikia), dressed in chitons, feasted on authentic Ancient Greek foods, and competed in wrestling, chariot-racing, running, hoplite racing, javelin, discus, and long jump. Professor Warren and RAs from Luter Hall joined in the festivities!

Check out all the exciting events the department hosted this year by clicking here

Alumni News

Caitlin Marley (’11, Classical Studies Major) just received her PhD from the University of Iowa!

Check out this review of a book coedited by our alum, Sinclair Bell (’95, Double Major in Classical Studies and History)!

Congratulations to Abigail Cline (’08, Latin Major) on winning First Place in the 2017 Lasker Essay Contest for her essay titled, “Science and cinema: from the benchtop to the big screen”! Check out her article here.

Submit your news to us at! 

Other News, Updates, and Projects

Lyriki: A Student’s Encyclopedia of Greek Lyric Poetry This site is the product of an undergraduate course in archaic Greek lyric poetry at Wake Forest University. All content is student-generated and designed to initiate the curious into the study of a fascinating corpus of poetry via clear and accessible discussions. Check out the site here

Check out the exciting project of CLA 272 student, Lauren Tarde! Lauren designed a New Yorker style cover that explores some of the key themes found in Juvenal’s Satires, a series of poems from the early second century CE which provide caustic commentary on the morals and practices of Roman society at the time.

FIRMITAS VTILITAS VENVSTAS! Students from John Oksanish’s Vitruvius seminar take a break from making their online commentaries on De architectura to examine the Jean de Tournes (1586) edition of Vitruvius in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections & Archives. Our thanks to Megan Mulder, Special Collections Librarian, for an excellent introduction to the materials in the collection. 

Check out other exciting projects from this year by clicking here

Have a Great Summer!

Too many books? I think what you mean is…not enough bookshelves!