Professor and Director of Greek and Roman Studies
Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Harvard University, M.A. Classical Studies, University of Minnesota (archaeology focus), B.A. Classics, Minor in Music,
Nancy Sultan, Professor and Director of Greek and Roman Studies, joined the faculty in 1993. She has published and taught widely in the area of Hellenic Cultural Studies. Her interests include oral poetics (cross-cultural approaches), mythology & folklore, ethnomusicology, Aegean archaeology, modern Greek folk poetry and drama, and gender studies. She has participated in archaeological excavations at Gournia and Mochlos on the island of Crete, and at the site of Naukratis, Egypt. She is the recipient of many grants, awards, and honors, including the Excellence in College Teaching Award presented by the American Philological Association in 2009.
Recent activities include: an article and several presentations about the influence of classical ideals on the Kennedy Administration; keynote address at the Indiana Classical Conference as the 2011-12 Bruce F. and Ildiko B. Meyer Honors Memorial Lecturer at Ball State University; named a Program Scholar for the NEH Funded Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives Project; dramaturg for two mainstage productions at IWU (Lysistrata and The Trojan Women), directed by Thomas Quinn; IWU Mini-Grant ($500), First Year Summer Reading Program curricular initiative: "Reading The Classics alongside Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Her current research project is " Music and the mixed audience in Classical Indian drama and later revival of Greek plays."
Prof. Sultan is also a fiction writer. Her plays have won competitions and have been performed at Heartland Theatre, Normal IL, and IWU. Her current fiction project is a fictional biography of the Greek sculptor Phidias and the building of the Parthenon.
She has sailed the Nile, the Yangtze, and the Wine-Dark Sea, ridden on donkeys, camels, and elephants, slept in a king's tomb, and survived several earthquakes and a hurricane. Her students have followed her into the storage room of Christie's Auction House and into museums in NY, Boston, Chicago, and Champaign.
Her motto is: dum vivo, ludo 'As long as I live, I play'.