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Department of Classics
University of Mississippi

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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!

June 2020 faculty statement of commitment to antiracism

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by mpranger
June 4 March in Oxford

Photo credit to Antonio Tarrell.

We, the faculty of the Department of Classics of the University of Mississippi, collectively and unanimously condemn the role of police brutality in perpetuating racial oppression, in particular the use of excessive force against black people on a continual basis and against those who protest this injustice. We affirm the importance of the freedom of our students and all other people to express grievances in public and work for their redress, and also the value of reasoned and civil debate at places such as the university and in the media. We hope through our teaching, scholarship, words, and actions, to oppose and change the modes of thinking that lead to and support racist violence, policies, and institutions.

We acknowledge the particular racist history of the state of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi, and our responsibility to work actively to build and open doors to a more just and equitable state and institution.

We acknowledge the particular ways that Classics has been used (and is still used by some) in building and bolstering ideologies of white supremacy, and our responsibility as teachers and scholars both to document and work against this part of our field’s legacy. We condemn all racism, ancient and modern, and pledge to employ our minds, hearts, and voices to expose and refute it.

The history and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean provide countless arenas to consider issues such as cultural diversity and pluralism, political and social crisis, socially sanctioned violence, freedom and slavery, justice and evil. We commit ourselves to using these opportunities to encourage vigorous discussion and analysis of how these issues played out historically and how they continue to play out today, and to work with our students to find new paths.

In accord with our professional organizations (Society for Classical Studies, Archaeological Institute of America, Classical Association of the Middle West and South, American Classical League), we also commit ourselves to encouraging robust, respectful dialogue and to providing a safe, supportive environment in which everyone, regardless of race, national origin, gender, religion, identity, is treated with dignity.


10/2: Joe Goodkin's Odyssey

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by mpranger

Join us for a free community performance of Joe Goodkin’s Odyssey, a 30-minute original musical composition for solo acoustic guitar and voice, which tells the story of Homer’s Odyssey in a series of 24 short songs.  It has been performed over 100 times for audiences of all ages and was honored in 2003, 2004, and 2012 with an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Award.  Thursday, 10/2 at 5:30 in the main floor Bryant Hall Gallery.  Contact Dr. Pasco-Pranger at 915-7097 if you have questions!