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Jennifer Swalec

Classics Department

Visiting Instructor

Ph.D.,  candidate, Brown University


Fields: Greek and Roman history, gender studies


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Office Phone: 508-793-3785
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As a teacher and a scholar of the Classics, I am particularly fascinated by the challenges inherent in attempting to reconstruct women’s lived experiences in ancient Greece and Rome. I am currently at work on a book-length project that examines a variety of narratives that depict elite women in Classical and Late Hellenistic Greece using garments as a powerful, controversial medium for exploring and negotiating the nature of their personal agency and authority. Juxtaposing case studies drawn from literary and documentary sources (epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, and inscribed religious regulations) enables me to offer a richer picture of the complex logistics involved in preserving normative gender roles in ancient Greece. For more information on my research, please see

At Holy Cross, I teach language courses that aim to improve students’ proficiency and enjoyment in translating and interpreting such classic texts as Vergil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, Pliny the Younger’s Epistles, and Sulpicia’s poetry, as well as a variety of courses on topics in ancient Greek and Roman history and civilization. I have developed two brand new courses (Love, Sex, and Society in the Ancient World; Spring 2017; Citizens and Migrants in the Ancient World, Spring 2018). My chief goal as a Classics professor is to equip students with the critical tools and strategies that will enable them to become the most sensitive interpreters of ancient sources that they can be.

When I’m not in a classroom or a library, you can most likely find me practicing yoga, hiking, or visiting an art museum. 

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • Latin 101         Introduction to Latin 1 (Fall 2016; Fall 2017)
  • Latin 102         Introduction to Latin 2 (Spring 2017; Spring 2018)
  • Latin 213         Intermediate Latin 1 (Fall 2017)
  • Latin 214         Intermediate Latin 2 (Spring 2017)
  • CLAS 151         History of Rome (Spring 2018)
  • CLAS 152         History of Rome 2: Empire (Fall 2016)
  • CLAS 199         Love, Sex, and Society in the Ancient World (Spring 2017)
  • CLAS 199         Citizens and Migrants in the Ancient World (Spring 2018)