Elizabeth Keitel | Professor
Elizabeth Keitel studied Classics at Smith College and UNC Chapel Hill. After stints teaching at the College of Charleston and UC Santa Barbara she joined the Department of Classics as Assistant Professor in 1980, rising to Associate Professor and Professor. She retired in 2019.
During her years at UMass she distinguished herself as a scholar of Roman historiography, with a particular focus on the works of Tacitus. Of her many classic articles, some particularly influential ones include, “Principate and Civil War in the Annals of Tacitus” (AJP 1984) and “The Non-Appearance of the Phoenix at Tacitus’ Annals 6.28” (AJP 1999). With these pieces, among others, Elizabeth played an important role in the development of methods for studying allusion and intertextuality in Roman historians.
Among her other works, she also authored a school commentary on Cicero’s Pro Caelio (Focus) with Jane Crawford and with UMass colleagues Brian Breed and Rex Wallace, co-edited Lucilius and Satire in Second-Century BC Rome (Cambridge). At the time of her retirement, a volume entitled Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination, co-edited with Ginna Closs, was forthcoming.
Her service to the UMass Amherst Classics department and to the profession were exemplary. She was Department Chair for many years and Graduate Program Director for even more. She was President of the New England Classical Association and Vice President for Education of the American Philological Association.
Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr. | Professor
Kenneth Kitchell retired from the department in May 2014 after 16 years of service. He joined the department in 1998 after serving 22 years at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Prior to this he taught for two years at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Chicago, Illinois.
He received his Ph.D. in Classics from Loyola University of Chicago, during which time he spent a year as the Hetty Goldman fellow of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
Professor Kitchell’s research falls into two main groupings. One concerns itself with the pedagogy of teaching classical languages and led to his dual editorship, with Thomas Sienkewicz, of the Legamus series of texts for Bolchazy-Carducci Press. He and Sean Smith of Amherst High School published the Catullus volume in this series in 2006. In 2010 he and Professor Sienckewicz published Disce! An Introductory Latin Course with Pearson Publishing. His interest in pedagogy and promotion also led to various professional posts: President of CAMWS, President of ACL, and Vice President for Education for APA/SCS.
His other research interest centers on animals and animal lore from antiquity through the Middle Ages. With Irven Resnick he published the first ever translation of Albertus Magnus’ De animalibus (1999, Johns Hopkins) and two other books on Albert. Most recently he published Animals in the Greek and Roman World A-Z. (Routledge, 2013).
Gilbert Lawall | Professor
Professor Gilbert Lawall retired from the department in 2001 after a highly distinguished career. He received his B.A. in Classics from Oberlin College in 1957 and his Ph.D. in Classics from Yale University in 1961. He attended the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. (1963-1964), where he completed his book on Theocritus’ pastoral poetry, titled Theocritus’ Coan Pastorals: A Poetry Book, which was published by Harvard University Press. He taught at Yale University, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where upon arrival in 1969 he was the sole teacher of classical languages in a Department of Romance Languages and where he recruited classics faculty and helped establish a Master of Arts in Teaching Program in Latin and Classical Humanities (1970) and a Department of Classics (1972). He served as Department Head (1972-1975), as Chairman for a three-year term (1975-1978), and as Director of Graduate Studies (1993-2000). He also served as President of the American Classical League (1976-1980) and helped revive the study of Latin in the schools after the plummet of enrollments in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. He made presentations throughout the U.S.A. on the value of Latin study, and he coordinated state, regional, and national efforts to revive Latin in the schools. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Classical Association of New England (1980-1987).
Professor Lawall also spearheaded innovation in Latin textbooks. He served as Chief Revisions Editor for the Scottish Classics Group’s Ecce Romani Latin program (four editions 1983-2009), tailoring it for American schools, and he added two companion readers, The Romans Speak for Themselves I and II, the chapters of which were authored by UMass MAT students. He helped Maurice Balme of York, England, revise his Athenaze in its first two editions (1990, 2003) for American schools, colleges, and universities. He edited, produced, and distributed Ecce Romani Newsletter and an Athenaze Newsletter. He also co-edited book-length Greek and Latin readers, containing works of Euripides, Plautus, Catullus, Horace, Seneca, and Petronius, and he served as Editor of the Longman Latin Reader Series, co-authoring two works in this series. He founded CANE Instructional Materials and edited numerous booklets of Greek and Latin texts, many authored by UMass MAT students, and some by professors at various institutions. He served as Chairman of the American Philological Association’s Editorial Board for Textbooks (1981-1984), and he was a member of the Board of Directors for the American Philological Association (1987-1989).
Professor Lawall consistently contributed in the areas of service and research. He was the founder and co-editor of the New England Classical Newsletter (1974-1993), the forerunner of the New England Classical Journal. He was also co-director of the New England Latin Placement Service (1975-2000). He published articles on Pindar, Theocritus, Apollonius, Herodas, Seneca’s tragedies, and Juvenal, as well as numerous book reviews. He read papers and delivered talks at many professional meetings, schools colleges, and universities. As Director of Graduate Studies in the UMass Classics Department, he organized MAT Seminars in Latin Education, open to graduate students, faculty, and teachers from the Pioneer Valley, and he initiated the (still extant) annual “Alumni/-ae, Cooperating Teacher Symposia,” at which graduates from recent years return to report on their teaching and outside speakers make presentations. At his home in Amherst, he conducted Sunday afternoon Greek and Latin classes for professional development of high school Latin teachers. In 1996 he organized sessions at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of New England, at the Institute of the American Classical League and an event at UMass Amherst – all celebrating the 25th anniversary of the MAT Program with faculty, graduates, current students, and Latin teachers as speakers.
Professor Lawall received awards for distinguished service to the profession from the Classical Association of New England, the Classical Association of the Empire State, the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, and the American Classical League, and he received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Marios Philippides | Professor
Marios Philippides retired from the University in May 2017 after a very distinguished career as a teacher and researcher in the Department of Classics at UMass Amherst, which he joined in 1978. He has degrees in Classics from Queens College (B.A. 1972) and SUNY at Buffalo (M.A. 1976, Ph.D. 1978). He has published numerous articles on ancient religion, on archaeology, and on late Byzantine historiography. His main focus has been the fall of Constantinople (1453), the annexation of the Balkans, and the conquest of the Franco-Byzantine Levant to the Ottoman Turks. Prof. Philippides has published a number of books, including his monumental 2011 study, The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453: Historiography, Topography, and Military Studies. Coauthored with Walter Hanak, this book’s 11 chapters not only offer comprehensive analysis of the primary sources concerning this famous historical event but also subject the scholarly literature devoted to this topic over the last century and a half to searching scrutiny. Other key avenues of Prof. Philippides’s scholarly inquiry have included ancient religion, archaeology, and late-Byzantine historiography. His numerous books and articles have ranged in topic from the ancient Greek novelist Longus to Mycenaean frescoes, and from the reception of ancient Troy in Renaissance Istanbul to detailed analysis of accounts of the city left by chroniclers of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.
Generations of UMass Amherst students discovered and developed an interest in the ancient world after enrolling in Prof. Philippides’s large lecture courses on Greek civilization and Greek mythology. Students will remember him for the genuine passion for the subject that he brought to every lecture, as well as for his commanding presence, sardonic wit, and sartorial flair (the Russian fur cap with ear flaps was a perennial favorite).
Not just a Byzantine scholar but a Renaissance man, Prof. Philippides is an expert scuba diver, an accomplished harpsichordist, and a devoted dog owner.
Rex Wallace | Professor
Rex Wallace joined the Classics department in 1985 after receiving his Ph.D. in Linguistics from The Ohio State University and after spending a year at the American Academy in Rome as the Oscar Broneer Fellow in Classical Studies. His research interests are the languages of pre-Roman Italy, their writing systems, linguistic structure, and historical development. His current research projects focus on Etruscan morpho-syntax, literacy in pre-Roman Italy, and the inscriptions of the Orientalizing period Etruscan settlement of Poggio Civitate. He is co-editor of Rasenna, an electronic journal devoted to Etruscan archaeology and language.