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Faculty Spotlight: Meet Sue Shapiro

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Utah State University’s History department introduces Dr. Susan Shapiro, Associate Professor of Classics. Hailing from Boston, Dr. Shapiro obtained her Bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Rochester, then a Master’s Degree in Classics at Brown University and a PhD at the University of Texas at Austen. Dr. Shapiro specializes in Herodotus, Greek intellectual history, and the late Roman Republic. She is currently doing research on one of the poems of the late Roman author Catullus, and will be giving a talk on the subject at the Utah Classical Association in March of this year. Of the project, she says, “ No one has been able to really understand what is going on with this poem, but I think it’s important because it does get to the heart of those questions of, “Who am I?” I’m looking at that poem as Catullus' answer to that question as being a passion and a commitment to life. This is a new approach to this poem. ”Of her conversion to classical study, Dr. Shapiro remarks that she originally studied German idealists in the nineteenth century until she took a Greek Intellectual History course from Dr. Al Geier, saying,“ he helped me to see that Greek literature was able to deal with ultimate questions in a very dynamic and exciting way that I felt that the modern authors weren’t doing. So I was completely in love with it.” Concerning her work in the Classics, she says, “you get to have the precision of learning a difficult language, which I really enjoy, but then you get to have the big ideas that go with it: literature, philosophy, history, art, art history, drama." and, "It’s just so fun. There’s always something new to bring in." Aside from her teaching and research, Dr. Shapiro spends much of her spare time editing Mediterranean Studies, an international and interdisciplinary journal which deals with all things Mediterranean. For the full interview with Dr. Shapiro, click here.


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