Denise McCoskey, associate professor of classics at Miami University, has won the American Philological Association 2009 Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.
“I find it nearly impossible to write about Denise without resorting to a list of superlatives, but she really is extraordinary,” one nominator wrote.
McCoskey joined Miami’s faculty in 1995. She received her bachelor’s degree in classics and archaeology from Cornell University in 1990 and her doctorate in classical studies from Duke University in 1995.
She teaches a range of courses, including Classical Mythology, Women in Antiquity, Greek and Roman Tragedy and Lyric Poetry. She also has initiated several specialized courses and is affiliated with the Jewish studies and black world studies programs.
McCoskey’s classes foster student involvement in learning and a diverse curriculum and disrupt student expectations. Her teaching style utilizes participation and discussion.
An observer remarked, “Her classes are noisy, wonderfully noisy, with lively discussion and much excited argument. ”
McCoskey is the second member of Miami’s classics department to receive this award in the last five years.
Judith de Luce, professor of classics, won it in 2005.
Classics professor Eric Rebillard has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support his research on funerary behaviors among the common people of the Roman Empire.
“Knowledge about Roman funerary rituals and burial practices is largely limited to a few texts and a few monuments, both products of the cultural and social elite of the Roman Empire,” said Rebillard. “I believe that burials allow us to go far beyond the limits of our other evidence in the study of the non-elites and that the study of funerary rituals can thus extend considerably our understanding of Roman culture.”
Rebillard’s project applies statistical analysis to a database of excavated tombs in Italy during the first three centuries of the Roman Empire to analyze the layout and contents of the graves and treatment of the bodies.
The project is unique, says Rebillard, because previously funerary monuments and grave goods have been studied mainly as indicators of social status. Rebillard’s approach is to emphasize funerary ritual itself and to study funerary behaviors.
The Mellon Foundation previously awarded Rebillard a New Directions fellowship to support his research.
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