News & Events

April 2018:

Nancy Sultan, Professor and Director of Greek & Roman Studies, has been selected to spend three weeks at Yale University in July as a participant in an National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers entitled: The Bhagavad Gita: Ancient Poem. Modern Readers. The goal of the seminar is to explore the Sanskrit text and its many readers and their interpretations. Prof. Sultan will pursue her pedagogical interests in comparative mythology and oral poetics and work on her research project, a study of Greek and Sanskrit ritual drama. Participants work with experts in the field and present their findings to the group. This is Professor Sultan's third NEH Seminar. "These seminars provide exciting opportunities to collaborate with experts both inside and outside one's field of training. They introduce participants to new ways of thinking about our teaching and open up new avenues for research."  

March 2018: 

Take a peep into Greek Mythology


Greek class enjoys lunch at Ephesus Turkish Restaurant: ὕ ὰ ἥ ἔή!

 The IDES Lecture and Performance Series:


Dedicated to the Roman God Jupiter, the Ides fell on the day of the full moon in the Roman calendar. Because a full moon comes halfway through each lunation, its day was called 'Idus' in Latin, meaning "divide." Greek and Roman Studies celebrates the Ides each month during the academic year with a guest speaker or performance. 

Ides Lecture Series Fall 2017- Spring 2018

God(dess) Swapping: Reattributing the Temple of Apollo at Corinth to Athena

Presented by: Dr. Angela Ziskowski; Coe College

Tuesday, November 14th, 4 pm to 5 pm; Beckman Auditorium, Ames Library 

Ides Lecture Series Fall 2016-Spring 2017

"All Ides Events are at 4 pm in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library, unless noted otherwise."

September 21: Mike Vasta, IWU alum and former Visiting Assistant Professor of GRS: "Revolutionary or Demagogue: Recovering the Suppressed Voice of Catiline"

October 20: Katharyn Hanson, Smithsonian Fellow and Director of the American Academic Institute in Iraq. "The current state of Mesopotamian archaeological sites in Iran, Iraq, and Syria."
November: (November 15 title TBA) Angeliki Tsanetou, Professor of Classics,UIUC. She will speak about Priam's wife, Hecuba,  as portrayed in Greek tragedy.

November 11: Amy Coles, Assistant Professor of History and GRS, IWU. Presents a Faculty Colloquium: "Ancient Worlds, Modern Technologies: How ArcGIS Illuminates Roman Republican Colonization." 4 pm in CNS C102.
January (date & place TBD): GRS Student Sponsored Saturnalia (Winter festival)
March 1: Clara Rae Bosak-Shroeder, Assistant Professor of Classics and History: "One Weird Trick: Cutting Wheat and Other “Processed” Foods in Ancient Greece"

March 30th  Serena Witzke, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, UIUC

"Women's Power in the Home: The Roman Wife"

April (date TBD): Eta Sigma Phi honor society initiation and annual GRS symposium, held at Professor Sultan's home.

April 8 : John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference, IWU.

Past Events: Spring 2016

CHI-RAQ, Spike Lee's controversial new film

Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 7 pm in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library

This film is a modern adaptation of the ancient Greek comedy "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.  Plot: Women decide to withhold sex from the gang members until they put down their guns and stop their violent behavior.

Co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

"Every time I Write a Rhyme, These People Think It's a Crime': Transgressive Poetics and Self-Representation in Catullus and Eminem"

Speaker: Professor Jesse Weiner, Hamilton College

Thursday, Feb. 25th, 4-6pm in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library

Past Events: 2015

"Screening the Battle of Actium: Civil War, Erotic Tragedy, and the Birth of an Empire"

Speaker:  Monica Cyrino, Professor of Classics, University of New Mexico.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 4 pm  in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library

“The Western Classics in Modern China” 

Speaker:  Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Classics, University of Chicago.

Tuesday, November 17, 4 pm  in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library  

Past Events: 2014-2015

"Religion in Ancient Mediterranean Comedy: Character, Context, and Content" 

Speaker: Dr. Erin Moodie, Purdue University 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 3pm in Beckman Auditorium 

Description:  This talk will provide a broad introduction to the religious contexts of Greek and Roman comedy, as well as the comic genres’ depiction of deities and religious practices. From the Dionysia festival in Athens to Jupiter's deus ex machina in Plautus’ Amphitryon, religion is central to ancient comedy, providing structure, atmosphere, and significance to events on and off the stage. 

"Lost in Dante's Forest"

Speaker: Tim McDunn, Greek and Roman Studies major and Mellon scholar

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 4pm in Beckman Auditorium

Description: In this lecture, we will explore the contemplative nature of forests in Dante's Divine Comedy and ask how Dante was able to use Christian doctrine as a means of reorganizing ideas that had been passed down from before the Christian era.  How did the Christian doctrine of Grace prevent Dante from being forever lost in a hypnotic state of contemplation?  The research for this presentation was made possible by the 2014 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant: Re-centering the Humanities.

"How to make a Roman Demosthenes: Cicero and the construction of a tradition"

Speaker: Caroline Bishop, Indiana University

October 2014

"Let us Now Praise Wicked Men: Netflix Series House of Cards (2013-14 and the 'Fifth Age' of Television." 

Speaker: Nancy Sultan, IWU

February 24, 2015, 4:30 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library

for more details:  House of Cards Flyer

"Translating the Oresteia: The Theory of What Translation Should Be" (Mellon Re-Centering the Humanities Grant)

Speaker: Alan Shapiro, UNC-Chapel Hill


March 17, 2015 at 4pm in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library


Poetry Reading:

March 17, 2015 at 7pm in Beckman Auditorium, The Ames Library


Greek and Roman Studies News

Fall 2015 Changes:

Amy Coles, Assistant Professor of History and GRS, has been awarded a Junior Faculty Leave during fall semester 2015 for her project on "Colonial Slaves and Freedmen in Republican Italy".


Michael S. Vasta will replace Amy Coles in fall as Visiting Assistant Professor of History & GRS. Mike is an alum of IWU who majored in ancient History and GRS! He received his MA in Latin in 2009 and his PhD in Classics from Indiana University in 2014. His interests include ancient historiography, Roman republican and triumviral culture and history, Roman rhetoric and oratory. He will be teaching Latin, Greek History, and a new course on "Civil Violence in ancient Greece and Rome."

Four Languages and a Poem: McDunn '16 Analyzes Dante 

Four Languages and a Poem: McDunn '16 Analyzes Dante
Mellon Scholar Tim McDunn spent his summer vacation reading some of the world's greatest works of literature in their original languages.
Read more here



Chicago Tribune report on Latin in Lake Forest

Latin language study endangered, but thrives elsewhere, experts say, read the story here 

 NEH performs Pseudolus 


Check out this YouTube video of the NEH performing the Roman comedy Pseudolus, by Plautus, to experience Latin as a performed art! There are several videos up, including ones that feature singing in Latin. Our own Dr. Nancy Sultan took part in these productions.

Check out what's going on at the Central Illinois Society of the Archeological Institute of America - Urbana, Illinois 

April 26, 2015: Malcolm Bell, III Lecture
View more events at their website:

IWU Students Reenact the Ludi Megalenses

IWU students reenact the Ludi Megalenses (Games in honor of Cybele, the Magna Mater) during May Term 2013.