Nancy sultan director of greek & roman studies

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nancy sultan

director of greek & roman studies

illinois wesleyan university

Illinois Wesleyan University

Box 2900

Bloomington, IL 61702-2900

CLA 147

(o) 309-556-3173

(f) 309-556-1713

Areas of Specialization & Interest

Hellenic Cultural Studies; Comparative oral poetics; Ethnomusicology; Aegean Archaeology; Classical Reception; Gender Studies


Harvard University PhD in Comparative Literature, November 1991.

University of Minnesota MA in Classics (Aegean Archaeology), Honors 1983.

University of NC Greensboro BA in Classics (Greek), Minor in Music, Magna Cum Laude & Phi Beta Kappa 1981.


Illinois Wesleyan University 1993-present

Professor & Director of Greek & Roman Studies (tenured/Associate 1997, Full Professor 2003)

Chair of Department of Modern & Classical Languages/Literatures 2001-2006

Courses Taught: Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece & Rome; Hum. 101 World of Ideas: Antiquity; Ancient Greek (all levels); Greek Mythology; Greek Tragedy; Greek and Roman Comedy; The World of Homer; Art & Archaeology of Bronze Age Greece; Greek Art from Homer to Alexander; Preserving the Past: Collectors and the Trade in Antiquities (Travel Course); The Roman City (travel course co-leader & lecturer, with Prof. Amanda Coles, May 2010)
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 1991-1993

Acting Assistant Professor of Classics

Courses Taught: Myths and Wondertales of Greece (Modern & Ancient); Attic Greek (Beginning & Intermediate); Homer, Odyssey (4th semester Greek); Classical Mythology (800 students, 4 graduate TAs); Bronze Age Aegean Archaeology
Harvard University, CORE Division, Cambridge, MA 1987-90

Teaching Fellow: The Concept of the Hero in Hellenic Civilization (G. Nagy) 1987-1989 (Head TF 1989); Death & the Afterlife: The Concept in Greece (M. Alexiou) 1988; Oral Literature: Intro. to Mythology & Folklore (J. Harris) Head TF 1989

Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Il. 1984-86

Instructor of Classics & Chair, Classical Studies Minor Advisory Committee

Courses Taught: Latin I & II; Greek & Latin Elements in English; Classical Mythology; Greek Myth in Modern Theater (Honors Seminar)
University of Minnesota, Department of Classical Studies, 1982-83

Teaching Assistant: Classical Mythology; Instructor: Vocabulary Building with Greek & Latin

Publications - Monograph

1999. Exile and the Poetics of Loss in Greek Tradition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Reviewed: A. Leontis, Journal of Modern Greek Studies18.2 (2000); T. Whitmarsh, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 00.08.06; A. Schiesaro, Times Literary Supplement (September 1, 2000); R. B. Cebrian, Classical Review 50 (2000)
Selected Articles/Chapters

2015. “Pseudolus at the IWU Ludi Megalenses: Re-creating Roman Comedy in Context” Classical Journal 111.1 Oct/Nov (forthcoming)

2012. “Jacqueline Kennedy and the Classical Ideal,” revised version of CB article below for an online Festschrift for Gregory Nagy. Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, DC

2008. “Jacqueline Kennedy and the Classical Ideal,” in Classical Bulletin 84.2:49-63.

2005. “Should the ‘Elgin Marbles’ be Returned to Greece?” in History in Dispute, Vol. 20, ed. P. A. Miller & C. Platter. Manly Inc. pp. 97-105.

2004. “Music in Ancient Greece & Rome 1200 B.C.E.—476 C.E.” in Ancient Greece and Rome volume in the series: Arts and Humanities Through the Eras, Gale Group, pp. 181-232.

1998. “Exile and Marriage in Greek Tradition,” in E Arkhaia Ellada kai o Sunkronos Kosmos. A´ Pagkosmio Sunedrio Olympia. Aug. 1997. Patra: Ekdoseis Panepistêmiou Patrôn, 95-108.

1995. “Greek Music in an American Cafe,” Laographia 12.5:13-16.

1994. “Oh Bitter Exile!: Toward A Greek View of xenitia,” Laographia 11.3:6-12.

1992. “Private Speech, Public Pain: The Power of Women’s Laments in Greek Poetry & Tragedy,” in Rediscovering the Muses: Women’s Musical Traditions, ed. K. Marshall. Boston: Northeastern University Press. 92-110.

1991. “Women in ‘Akritic’ Song: The Hero’s ‘Other’ Voice,” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 9:153-170.

1988. “New Light on the Function of ‘Borrowed Notes’ in Ancient Greek Music: A Look at Islamic Parallels,” Journal of Musicology 6:387-398.

Perseus 1.0 (Macintosh CD Interactive Source for Classical Greece). Contributing author/editor 1989-91.

Selected Book Reviews

2006. “Sheramy Bundrick, Music and Image in Classical Athens,” New England Classical Journal (Vol 33.3) 226-229.

2004 “Margaret Alexiou, The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition.” The Classical Review 54.1

2001. “John Landels, Music in Ancient Greece and Rome.” Classical Outlook 79.2 (2001).

2001. “Laura McClure, Spoken Like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama.” The Classical Review 51.1.

1991. “Niki Watts, The Greek Folksongs,” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 9:125-126.

Current Research

Sabbatical Project: “Music and the mixed audience in Classical Indian drama and later revival of Greek plays.”

“What Kind of Man the Occasion Demands: Frank Underwood, Odysseus, and the Triumph of Ponêria
Conference Presentations

2014 “Pseudolus at the IWU Ludi Megalenses: Re-creating Roman Comedy in Context” Classical Association of Atlantic States. October.

2014 "Let us Now Praise Wicked Men: House of Cards (2103-14) and the 'Fifth Age' of Television." Film & History Conference. Madison, WI. October.

2013. “Pseudolus at the IWU Ludi Megalenses: Re-creating Roman Comedy in Context.” Integrating Approaches to Ancient Drama Conference, University of Illinois. April.

2013 “Pseudolus at the IWU Ludi Megalenses: Re-creating Roman Comedy in Context.” CAMWS panel “Beyond the OCT: Reflections on the NEH Summer Institute on Roman Comedy in Performance.” April.

2007. “Jacqueline Kennedy & the Classical Ideal, Redux,” part of panel on “Classics and the Kennedys,” Classical Association of Atlantic States. Washington, DC. October.

2006. “Build it and they will Come: A Dream of a Field (of Classics) at IWU.” Illinois Classical Conference, Springfield. October.

2006. “Jacqueline Kennedy in the Classical Mode,” Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), April.

2003. “Parce, Precor, Venus: ‘Classic’ Misogyny in Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love, Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), April.

2001. “Lord Elgin’s Legacy: Sources for the Study of Antiquities Collection and Preservation.” CAMWS, April.

2000. “Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks: Classicists Volunteer in Grade Schools.” With Prof. Kenneth S. Morrell, Rhodes College. CAMWS, April.

1999. “Nina’s Tears, Penelope’s Tears: Defining akhos in Truly, Madly, Deeply .“For 1999 CAMWS Panel, “Cinematic Approaches to Teaching the Classics” (see “Panels” below).

1997. “Marriage as xenitia in Greek Poetic Traditions” presented at the “First World Congress on Ancient Greece and the Modern World,” Olympia, Greece. Aug. 17-22.

1997. “Pandora, Shamhat, Dido and the Rest: ‘Reading’ Women in ‘Great Books’,” presented at CAMWS Boulder, CO April.

1996. “Death & the Matrons: Managing the Hero’s kleos,” CAMWS, Vanderbilt University. April.

1995. “Women’s Laments in Greek Poetry: A Question of anankê?” Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA), Boston. Nov.

1993. “Women’s gooi as Speech-Acts in Homer” APA (American Philological Association), Washington DC, Dec.

1993. “Ancient Greek Music: The Sound of Silence” CCA (California Classical Assoc.) May.

1990. “Women in ‘Akritic’ Song: The Hero’s ‘Other’ Voice” at the “Voices of Greek Women” Conference, Cornell Univ., March.

1990. “Zô in exoría: Finding the Greek Identity Through Popular Music,” “Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies: The Next Wave” Conference, Ohio State Univ., Oct.

Invited Talks

2014 “ The Greeks Take Camelot! Jacqueline Kennedy and the Classical Ideal.” Invited lecture, Purdue University. April 10.

2012 “Jacqueline Kennedy & the Classical Ideal.” Bruce F. and Ildiko B. Meyer Honors Memorial Lecture, Indiana Classical Caucus. Ball State University, April.

2009 “Jacqueline Kennedy & the Classical Ideal.” AIA Lecture Series, Champaign-Urbana. September 10.

2009 “Jacqueline Kennedy & the Classical Ideal.” IWU Faculty Colloquium, April.

2008. “Should the “Elgin Marbles” be Returned to Greece?” invited lecture for the Archaeological Institute of America lecture series, Monmouth College. October 16.

2002. “Reading the Male in Homeric Tradition.” IWU Religion Department Colloquium Series. March.

2002. “When Men Leave: The poetics of xenitia in Greek song-making traditions.” Hellenic Student Association, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, March.

1996. “Translating ponos in Greek Narrative,” invited lecture for the Classics Department Colloquium, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign October.

1994. “ Bitter xenitia!: Toward A Greek View of Exile” IWU Faculty Speaker Series, Nov. 28.

1994. “The Body in Worship: Votive Figures in Prehistoric Greece,” invited lecture for the Cranbrook Academy Humanities Series: “The Body at the Millennium.” Cranbrook Academy of Art, Detroit, MI, April 29.

1993. “Weeping Like a Woman: Honor & Empathy in Greek Poetic Traditions” UT Austin, Dept. of Classics. Jan.

1992. “Ponos as Gendered Discourse in Greek Tradition: Can We Talk?” Stanford University, Classics Colloquium, Oct.

Workshops, Panels, Collaborations

2012. Sunoikisis Course Planning Workshop: Elementary and Intermediate Greek. Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC. Faculty participant.

2011. Dramaturg, IWU main stage production of Euripides Trojan Women, directed by Thomas Quinn.

2010: Midwest Faculty Seminar “Who Owns Culture?” Franke Institute, University of Chicago. Participant.

2010. Dramaturg, IWU main stage production of Aristophanes Lysistrata, directed by Thomas Quinn.

2004: Teaching Ethics in Archaeology and Antiquities Collecting, Roundtable facilitator, Joint APA/AIA Convention, January.

1999. “Cinematic Approaches to Teaching the Classics.” Organizer, panel for the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), April.

1999. Symposium on Contemporary Music, Invited panelist, Feb. 8, IWU School of Music. Discussion of the current and future state of Fine Arts in Education. With the visiting composer John Corigliano and composer David Vayo.

1998. “Small Group Work in Classics Courses” for “Teaching With Active or Group Assignments: Who Learns What and How Do We Know?” Workshop Sponsored by The Center for the Advancement of Teaching at ISU and IWU’s Mellon Center for Teaching and Learning, October 7.

1997. Lilly Conference on Excellence in College & University Teaching. UCLA, March.

Fiction: Produced plays

No Goodbyes. Winner, 2009 Heartland Theatre “New Plays from the Heartland” One-Act Play Competition (cash prize & staged reading).

Pas de Deux. Winner, 2007 Heartland Theatre 10-minute Play Festival Competition. Directed by Lori Adams. June-July 2007, Normal Illinois.

Money Matters. Produced by Heartland Theatre’s “Young at Heartland Senior Acting Workshop.” Summer 2007.

The Waiting Room. 10-minute play produced by Adam Miller, BFA in Theatre Arts Honors Thesis, April, 2006.
Fiction: In Progress

Pheidias and the Owl-Eyed Maiden (fictional biography of the Greek sculptor).
Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Honors

2014. Sabbatical Leave (Spring)

2013. Instructional Development Grant ($500) to purchase theatrical masks and musical instruments for Greek & Roman Studies.

2013. Curriculum Development Grant ($2000) to support a trip to develop a May-Term Travel Course to Greece.

2013. Mellon “Re-Centering the Humanities” Grant, IWU ($5550) to bring poet Alan Shapiro to campus in Spring 2015. (Co-sponsored with Profs. Mike Theune and Joanne Diaz in English).

2012. Artistic and Scholarly Development Grant, IWU ($3500) to offset the cost of an intensive course in Sanskrit and research on Sanskrit drama at Harvard. Summer 2014.

2012. IWU Mini-Grant ($500), First Year Summer Reading Program curricular initiative: “Reading The Classics alongside Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

2011. Program Scholar, “Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives” program sponsored by an $800,000 grant from the NEH to Aquila Theatre (

2011. Instructional Development Grant ($250) for an invited lecture by UIUC Prof. of Architecture, Paul Kapp.

2009. “Excellence in Teaching Award,” American Philological Association.

2008. Phi Kappa Phi (Collegiate Honor Society) Invited to join

2007. Eta Sigma Pi (Classics Honor Society) Invited as Associate Member

2008. Post Tenure Review Grant Award ($5000) for research in Greece.

2007. Technos Program Travel Award, 2 week trip to Japan sponsored by Technos Ikueikai Educational Foundation, June.

2007. Artistic & Scholarly Development Grant (ASD), IWU. To conduct research at the Kennedy Library in Boston.

2007. Sabbatical Leave, Spring.

2004. Humanities Series Grant, IWU (sponsored visiting lecture by Prof. McGuire Gibson)

2003. Humanities Series Grant, IWU (sponsored visiting lecture by Prof. Patrice Rankine)

2003. ASD Grant, IWU: A Week at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival to work on novel Philip and the Owl-Eyed Maiden.

2002. Pi Delta Phi (National French Honor Society) Invited to join (but already a member as an undergraduate)

2001. Humanities Series Grant, IWU (sponsored visiting lecture by Dr. Jonathan Shay)

1999. IWU Curriculum Development Grant, Fall: “Preserving the Past: Collectors and the Trade in Antiquities”

1999-2000. IWU Sabbatical Leave, Academic Year

1999. ASD Grant, IWU: CYA Intensive Modern Greek Program on Paros, Greece, and Research at the ASCSA

1998. IWU Curriculum Development Grant, Spring: “Sex & Gender in the Graeco-Roman World”

1997-98. Heritage Library Gift Fund. $5,0000 for library acquisitions in classical studies

1997. IWU Culpeper Grant for Teaching Technology, Summer

1996. IWU University Research Fellow Grant ($2000) Monograph research

1995. IWU Curriculum Innovation Fund Grant

1994. Joyce Foundation Summer Travel Grant

1989. Pew Teaching Leadership Award, Harvard. 1987-88.

Harvard Writing Fellow 1988.

1987. Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS), for the study of modern Greek, Harvard (used at the Ionic Center, Chios, Greece)

1987. George Seferis Travel Grant, Ionic Center, Chios, Greece (summer).

1985. NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, Harvard Univ..

1981-82. Graduate Student Fellowship, Full Tuition, Univ. of Minnesota

1981. Phi Beta Kappa, UNC-G.

1981. Student Excellence Award (Seniors) UNC-G

1980. Pi Delta Phi (French National Honor Society) UNC-G
Foreign Study

2007. Technos International Program, IWU. Two weeks study in Tokyo, Japan sponsored by the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Foundation. June.

1999. College Year in Athens. Paros, Greece, summer. Three week intensive advanced modern Greek language course.

1987. The Ionic Center. Chios Greece, summer. Intensive Modern Greek language study

1984. British Museum, London, and Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University. Research on musical papyri. Summer.

1982. Naukratis Expedition, Kom Ge’if, Egypt, summer. Staff on archaeological excavation sponsored by the Universities of Minnesota and Missouri.

1981. Mochlos/Gournia Expedition, Crete, summer. Staff on archaeological excavation sponsored by the University of NC-Greensboro and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

1980. American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Summer Session.


Trained in Classical Greek; Latin (Intermediate); Modern Greek (Intermediate speaking/reading), French (Intermediate speaking, reading knowledge); German (reading knowledge); Sanskrit (7 week intensive study, Harvard 2014)

External Professional Activity

Program Committee, CAMWS, 2006-09

Committee on the Status of Women & Minority Groups, APA (2003-2006)

Anonymous referee for TAPA (Transactions of the American Philological Association)

Anonymous referee for CJ (Classical Journal)

Anonymous referee for AJP (American Journal of Philology)

Committee on Good Teachers Awards, CAMWS 2000-02, Chair 2001-02

Managing Committee Member, ASCSA (Am. School of Classical Studies, Athens) 1999-present

Committee on Placement for the APA, 1994-97

Organizing Committee Member: “2nd World Congress on Ancient Greece and the Modern World.” Olympia, Greece. July, 2002.

Member of 41 Colleges Association (combined ACM, GLCA, and ACS consortia)

Supervisor for & Coordinator of enrichment course at Bent Elementary School “Exploring Antiquity: The Civilizations of Greece and Rome,” offered by students in the GRS Program through grant support from the “Beyond the Books” Foundation

University Service IWU

Chair, Curriculum Council (2015-present)

Vice Chair, Curriculum Council (2014-2015)

Humanities Division Representative, Council on Academic Policies and Programs (elected) 2009-2011

Strategic Budget and Planning Committee 09-11 (elected)

Director, Greek & Roman Studies (since 1994)

Chair, Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures Department (elected) 2001-2006

First Year Advising Committee

First Year Advisor

Advisor, Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society

Curriculum Council (elected)

Nominating Committee (elected)

Library Advisory Committee

Bookstore Advisory Committee

Hearing Committee

Child Care Committee

Committee on Diversity

Committee on Student Life

Pre-Med Advisory Committee

“Damned the Torpedoes, Feed Your Soul!” Invited speech for Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, IWU. April 2011.

“But Zeus made them into Stars: Greek Myths and the Laws of the Cosmos.” Invited lecture for the Twin Cities Amateur Astronomers, Inc. 51st Annual Meeting. 2011

“Exploring Antiquity” class for 4th-5th grade, Bent Elementary School, Bloomington

Program Advisory Committee, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. 2005-07
“What are the Liberal Arts?” Invited presentation for “Scholar’s Day,” IWU. 2003.

APA: American Philological Association

AIA: Archaeological Institute of America

ASCSA: American School of Classical Studies at Athens

MGSA: Modern Greek Studies Association

CAMWS/ACL: Classical Association of the Middle West & South/American Classical League

CAAS: Classical Association of Atlantic States

ICC: Illinois Classical Conference

SCBWI: Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators

WCC: Women’s Classical Caucus

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