Welcome, and thank you for visiting my online teaching portfolio. I am a PhD candidate at Brown University in Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean, specializing in the study of early Christianity, ancient Judaism and Roman archaeology. I expect to complete my degree in summer 2013. This e-portfolio presents my teaching practice, including my teaching philosophy statement, sample syllabi, sample course materials, as well as evaluations of my teaching performance. An abridged copy of my Teaching Portfolio is also available for download here.
I have taught at a range of institutions, serving as an instructor at the College of the Holy Cross and Wheaton College (Norton, MA), and as a teaching assistant at Brown University. I am prepared to teach courses in a variety of subjects pertaining to the ancient world, particularly in the fields of Early Christianity, Ancient Judaism and Greco-Roman literature, as well as cognitive science, the study of memory, German Romanticism and the philosophy of religion, to name a few.
My research interests are centered around the critical (re)investigation of tradition theories and methods in religious studies and the broader social sciences and their application to the study of antiquity.
At present I am completing my dissertation, The Beginnings of Gospel Literature, under Dr. Stan Stowers (director), Dr. Ross Kraemer and Dr. David Konstan. A copy of my prospectus is available here. My dissertation reconsiders the so-called Q (Quelle) sayings-source and the Synoptic Gospels through an evaluation of ancient compositional practices and literary networks. Rather than attempt to read these writings under the related assumptions that they reveal cohesive communities and preserve strands of authentic material about Jesus, this study situates them more coherently within a wider field of Greco-Roman literature as an example of what I have termed “subversive biography,” in which a marginal figure is forced to succeed through the use of his wits and wonderworking skills. I offer a reevaluation of the conditions of the authorship of the gospels, their customary genre classification and, in some cases, compositional structure, in order to provide both a more plausible account of their production and a more nuanced view of the emergence of Christianity—and Christian literature—as a social phenomenon within the matrix of Mediterranean antiquity. I also question the degree to which our contemporary methodological approaches to ancient texts continue to be informed by German Romantic notions of the author and community.
The subject of my dissertation is influenced, in part, by my collaborative work with Dr. Konstan on a class of biographical literature we have termed "subversive biography." Our piece “Civic and Subversive Biography in Antiquity” can be found in Koen de Temmerman and Kristoffel Demoen's forthcoming edited volume Fictional Lives: Ancient Biography and Fictionality (Cambridge University Press). My dissertation research has also revealed several potential, future projects--
among them: the influence of the Pauline corpus on the composition of Mark, literary anonymity among ancient authors and the continued influence of nineteenth-century German Romantic communitarian frameworks on the study of religion.
My other research interests include the history of the interpretation of the Synoptic problem, a critical reevaluation and history of Q scholarship and intersections between Roman archaeology and twentieth-century Fascist Europe (particularly Spain and Italy). I have conducted a good deal of research in the field of Roman archaeology. Over the last three years, I have researched the archaeology of the Jewish diaspora, with particular attention to the site of a potential synagogue in Elche, Spain. Thanks to the generosity of the Judaic Studies program at Brown, I have been able to conduct field work in Spain in 2009 and 2011 and I am currently working on an article on the site in Elche for submission to the Journal of Ancient Judaism.
I also have a forthcoming article, co-authored with Dr. Susan Harvey (Brown University), on potential overlaps between stock characters in New Comedy and the various figures featured in early Christian dialogue hymns. I am currently working on another collaborative project with Dr. Konstan which compares the infancy gospels of Jesus with the "Superboy" Superman comic books of the 1940s-1970s. We have also recently been invited to contribute articles to the upcoming Oxford Handbook on Ancient Biography, as well as Ilaira Ramelli and Judith Perkin's forthcoming volume on Jewish and Christian narratives.
Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions (you can find my contact information above on the top, left of this page) and thank you again for visiting this site!
Image: Marble stele, letter from Hadrian to the Macedonian Koinon, RISD Museum (Providence, RI). Photo by R. Walsh.