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Department of Classics
University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

DiBiasie-Sammons receives College of Liberal Arts New Scholar Award in Humanities

Posted on: May 10th, 2021 by mpranger

Professional photo of Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons


The Department of Classics is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Jacqueline DiBiasie-Sammons has been chosen by the College of Liberal Arts as the 2021 recipient of the Dr. Mike L. Edmonds New Scholar Award in Humanities. This award recognizes faculty who are within six years of their first tenure-track appointment and have demonstrated exemplary performance in research, scholarship, and/or creative achievement; recipients have significantly enhanced the scholarly reputation of the College and University through exceptional contributions to their disciplines and demonstrated a positive impact on the success of their department.

Three students: Arianna shines a flashlight on an ancient plastered wall as Mweyeria observes; Madeleine approaches with notebooks to record.

Summer 2018 students at work in a Roman house in Herculaneum.

Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons has just completed her fourth year as an assistant professor, and has quickly become a research leader in the Department of Classics, working in the exciting area of ancient graffiti. She is the field director and technology supervisor of the Ancient Graffiti Project (AGP), which has undertaken to document and digitize all of the ancient graffiti from Pompeii and Herculaneum, and to produce new critical editions of the graffiti in a publicly accessible online database ( Graffiti, produced as they were by people of all social classes, genders, occupation, and ages, have enormous potential to open new windows into Roman culture. Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons and her colleagues are building a robust and user-friendly online database, that allows open access to these “windows” to scholars all over the world. To date seven UM undergraduates have participated in the AGP’s fieldwork.

The graffiti-centered fieldwork is also the starting point for much of Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons’ more traditional article-based scholarship: among her eight published journal articles and book chapters are cultural analyses based on the distribution and typology of inscriptions, methodological articles, and revisions and reinterpretations of known inscriptions based both on new technological approaches and on archival work. Her most recent work focuses on the particular category of charcoal graffiti, scribblings in a material so delicate that they are quickly destroyed when exposed to the elements. For this project, Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons has received research support for archival work from the Getty Research Institute to access the field notebooks of the original excavators in the Getty’s collections.

In October 2019, Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons and Dr. Holly Sypniewski of Millsaps College co-chaired the Symposium Campanum at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma, Italy, hosting a slate of more than twenty scholars from ten countries, presenting research on inscriptions of the Bay of Naples region. The symposium was a grand success, and Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons leadership of the group clearly signals the strong position she is mapping out in the world of ancient epigraphy.

Though still only six years out from her 2015 University of Texas-Austin PhD, Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons is making her scholarly mark on a variety of fronts, and on a truly international stage. Her accomplishments are already impressive, and she has a strong, innovative, and multi-faceted research program that promises to flourish for many years to come. Congratulations to Dr. DiBiasie-Sammons!

In Memoriam: Dr. Lucy Turnbull

Posted on: April 24th, 2019 by mpranger
Dr. Lucy Turnbull points to features of an male terra cotta bust while a black female student looks on.

Dr. Lucy Turnbull works with a student on an item from the Robinson Collection in 1971.

We received the sad news Sunday, April 21, 2019 of the death of our emerita colleague, Dr. Lucy Turnbull.

Dr. Turnbull joined the University of Mississippi faculty in 1961, teaching classical art history, archaeology, mythology, and civilization and also working to catalogue and curate the recently acquired David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities. She was a dedicated teacher and an outstanding scholar of Greek art and archaeology, who served as campus leader during times of great challenges to the University. She was instrumental in the expansion of the University Museum in the 1970s, and directed the Museum for much of the 1980s.

After her retirement in the early 1990s, Dr. Turnbull remained active in the Oxford community and in her church, and continued as a true colleague to us in the Department of Classics. She will be deeply and sincerely missed.

We invite you to visit Dr. Turnbull’s obituary and a tribute page, or to read a short piece honoring her in the 2012 College of Liberal Arts publication, View From Ventress. Finally, below is a link to an essay by Lucy “On Museums” from another University publication in 1971; this last really captures her spirit as an educator and the best kind of classicist.

On Museums_University Letter 1971

Dr. Cook named University of Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year

Posted on: January 11th, 2019 by mpranger

Poster for public talk: Documenting Freedon in Ancient Greece and a Broze Inscription in Oxford, Mississippi. Monday Defburary 11, 2019 at 7:00 in Bryant 209. Reception preceding at 6:30 in the Bryant Hall Gallery.We are very proud to announce that the Mississippi Humanities Council has named Associate Professor of Classics Dr. Brad Cook the 2019 University of Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year. As part of the celebration of this well-deserved recognition, Dr. Cook will be presenting a public lecture on some of his current research on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7:00 in Bryant 209. His talk, “Documenting Freedom in Ancient Greece and a Bronze Inscription in Oxford Mississippi,” stems from his work with a small portable inscription in the University Museum that records the manumission of a female slave.







Ave atque vale: Dr. Edward Capps III

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 by mpranger

The Department of Classics is saddened to report that our emeritus colleague Dr. Edward Capps III passed away in Oxford, MS on August 15, 2018.

Dr. Capps was born in 1935 in Oberlin, Ohio where his father was a Professor of Classical Art at Oberlin College; his grandfather was a Professor of Classics at Princeton. Educated at Swarthmore College and Yale, Dr. Capps joined our department in 1964 and taught ancient languages, literature, mythology and civilization courses for many years to many thousands of University of Mississippi students. From 1969 to 1972 he served as Vice-President for Mississippi in the Classical Associate of the Middle West and South. Dr. Capps retired in 2002 and was named Professor Emeritus, but continued to teach freshman liberal arts seminars for some years after that.

Donations and memorials in honor of Dr. Edward Capps III, may be made to the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation (

Dr. Jacqueline DiBiasie Sammons and UM undergrads in Herculaneum

Posted on: August 6th, 2018 by mpranger

Assistant professor of Classics Dr. Jacqueline DiBiasie Sammons and three UM undergrads, Arianna Kitchens, Madeleine McCracken, and Mweyeria Offord spent part of Summer 2018 hard at work locating and digitally documenting graffiti in the ancient city of Herculaneum. Dr. DiBiasie Sammons is the field director for the Ancient Graffiti Project and will be taking more students to continue the project’s work in Pompeii in Summer 2019. The Mike and Mary McDonnell Endowment for the Study of Classics helped fund all three students’ work on the project.

Read more about Dr. BiBiasie Sammons and the Ancient Graffiti Project here.

Professor and three students in University of Mississippi t-shirts pose in front of ancient Herculaneum.

L to r: Dr. DiBiasie Sammons, Madeleine McCracken, Arianna Kitchens, Mweyeria Offord.

Three students: Arianna shines a flashlight on an ancient plastered wall as Mweyeria observes; Madeleine approaches with notebooks to record.

The students at work in a Roman house in Herculaneum.

Dr. Molly Pasco-Pranger wins teaching award.

Posted on: August 5th, 2018 by mpranger
Close up of Dr. Pasco-Pranger.

Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Associate Professor and Chair of Classics Dr. Molly Pasco-Pranger was awarded the College of Liberal Arts’ 2018 Cora Lee Graham Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen. The award was announced in May 2018. Read more here.

Jonathan Fenno

Posted on: March 19th, 2015 by erabadie

Associate Professor of Classics
Greek and Latin Poetry, Greek Religion, Ancient Athletics, Romans in Cinema

Bryant Hall 031
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
662-915-1153  |

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., UCLA, 1995
M.A., UCLA, 1989
B.A., Concordia College, 1986

Academic Positions:
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Mississippi, 2002-present
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Gettysburg College, 2002
Assistant Professor of Classics, College of Charleston, 1999-2001
Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Charleston, 1996-1999
Lecturer, UCLA, 1995-1996
Teaching Assistant, UCLA, 1988-1995


Journal Articles:

“The Wrath and Vengeance of Swift-Footed Aeneas in Iliad XIII” Phoenix 62.1-2 (2008) 1-17

“The Mist Shed by Zeus in Iliad XVII” The Classical Journal 104.1 (2008) 1-9

“‘A Great Wave against the Stream’: Water Imagery in Iliadic Battle Scenes” American Journal of Philology 126.4 (2005) 475-504

“Semonides 7.43: A Hard/Stubborn Ass” Mnemosyne 58.3 (2005) 408-411

“Setting Aright the House of Themistius in Pindar’s Nemean 5 and Isthmian 6″ Hermes 133.3 (2005) 294-311

“Praxidamas’ Crown and the Omission at Pindar Nemean 6.18″ Classical Quarterly 53.2 (2003) 338-346

Book Reviews:

R. Buxton, The Complete World of Greek Mythology, London, 2004, The Classical Outlook 82.4 (2005) 161

B. Powell, Classical Myth, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 3rd edition, 2000, The Classical Outlook 78 (2001) 179-180

I. McAuslan & P. Walcot, Homer, Oxford, 1998, The Classical Outlook 77 (2000) 122-123

M. Golden, Sport and Society in Ancient Greece, Cambridge, 1998, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 10 (1999) 7.18 (


“Orphism,” Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, T. J. Sienkewicz, ed., 3 vol. Pasadena, 2002


Poet, Athletes, and Heroes: Theban and Aeginetan Identity in Pindar’s Aeginetan Odes, UCLA, 1995
Conference Papers:

“The Ambush of Achilles by Apollo and Agenor in the Iliad” Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 2008

“Counting the Named Victims of Homeric Warriors” Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 2007

“The Wrath of Swift-Footed Aeneas and the Death of Alcathous in Iliad XIII” American Philological Association, 2007

“The Mist Shed by Zeus in Iliad XVII” Classical Association of the Middle West and South (Southern Section), 2006

“Hydropolemic Imagery in the Iliad” Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 2003

“The Muse as Water: The History of a Metaphor” Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 1999

“Pindar’s Streams of Song: Musical Memory and Theban Dirce” American Philological Association, 1998

“Agamemnon’s Character in the Prologue to Euripides IA” American Philological Association, 1996

“Pythagoras, Early Pythagoreans, and Tyranny” American Philological Association, 1995