This year, the History Department welcomes Professor Nicole Giannella to campus, one
of two new faculty hired to instruct our students. Professor Giannella comes to us
from her postdoctoral associate position in the Department of Classics at Cornell
University. She received her PhD in Classics from the University of Southern California
Professor Giannella will be taking over instruction of the department's Ancient Mediterranean classes, and was kind enough to answer some questions about her research, interests, and plans for her future here at the U.
Tell us about your research interests.
"I’m a Roman historian working primarily on the early empire (1st to 3rd centuries CE). My research focuses on slavery and on the intersection between law and society in Rome. My interest is in examining Roman thinking across different kinds of texts such as legal writings, historiography, philosophy, and medical works in order to piece together a better understanding of the nature of Roman slavery and freedom. I’m also committed to studying comparative legal systems and slavery from other periods to help inform my work."
What are you most excited about when it comes to living in Utah?
"I’m very happy to be living in Salt Lake City: I’m originally from California, but have been in the countryside out east for the last few years, so I’m excited to be back out west and in a metropolitan area. I’m also looking forward to exploring Salt Lake’s beautiful surrounding area."
Are you currently working on any projects or books?
"I have a couple of projects I’m currently working on. My main project is a book called The Mind of a Slave: The Limits of Ownership in Roman Law and Society in the 1st c.-3rd c. CE. The book considers how far a master’s ownership extended into and over the mind of a slave by looking at three evaluative moments in a slave’s life: (1) the slave market, (2) the appointment to and removal from work positions, and (3) the end of the master-slave relationship. I argue that conceptions of the mind of the slave were at the heart of a legal and cultural debate about the nature of slavery and ownership. The book also contributes to a wider debate about selfhood and autonomy, since philosophers often used the figure of the slave as a representation of humanity at its limits. I’m also working on a couple of articles about the legal and cultural status of former slaves in Rome."
What kind of classes are you planning to bring to the curriculum?
"I am keen to introduce courses where we discuss a particular topic across different time periods, such as race and identity across the ancient world, law and citizenship from ancient to modern times, and slavery in Greece, Rome, and the American South."
What do you do when you’re not teaching?
"My graduation present for my PhD was an elaborate hi-fi system, so I spend a lot of free time listening to music. I also enjoy eating good food and its counterpart running."
Join us in welcoming Professor Giannella to the department!
Most Recent Faculty News
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Our award-winning and internationally-recognized faculty educate students in a myriad of time periods, world regions and areas of interest. Guided Pathways will allow students to customize a learning experience specific to their interests and future career goals.
New for 2018, we are introducing a regular blog post feature from our faculty members wherein they tackle current topics from a historical perspective. Our inaugural essay comes from Dr. Nadja Durbach on the phenomenon of "lunch shaming" schoolchildren and its relationship to education standards in the United Kingdom in the early 20th century.
Dr. Elizabeth Clement, along with other specialists from the College of Law and Marriott Library, contributed to Quiet Heroes, which will be screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Dr. Clement served as historical consultant and conducted interviews with subjects in the film. She has also worked to solicit and evaluate archival materials and conduct oral histories.
In Spring 2018, Dr. Maile Arvin will begin teaching her first classes with the U History Department, rounding out our course offerings with her expertise in the Pacific Islands. Professor Arvin comes to us from her postdoctural fellowship at UC Riverside and will also be teaching classes for the Gender Studies department. Enjoy this brief introduction to Professor Arvin and her work!
History Professor Dr. Paul Reeve has been appointed the first Simmons Mormon Studies professor, advancing the University's Mormon Studies initiative.
An introduction to our newest Ancient Mediterranean specialist, her research interests, and her plans for the future at the U.
Associate professor of history Dr. Bradley Parker has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue his archaeological work on Inca and Wari Imperialism in Ayacucho, Peru.
Safi S. M. Safiullah, a native of Bangladesh and Manager of the Salt Lake City Public Library’s Marmalade Branch, was recognized for his career in community engagement and lifelong support of libraries and education around the world.
The American Historical Society has announced its participants for the 2017-18 Career Diversity for Historians Faculty Institute, including Department Chair and Professor Eric Hinderaker, Professor Matt Basso, Professor Greg Smoak, and Professor Paul Reeve.
Dr. Clement was one of 20 faculty members selected out of over 200 nominations to receive this year's award. Her nomination by student Amy Brown emphasized Dr. Clemet's "dedication to helping students find resources, figuring out their career passions, and realize the possibilities that exist for their futures".
Professor Matthew Basso has been named the State Scholar for the Smithsonian Institute's The Way We Worked, a Museum on Main Street program. Presented by Utah Humanities and the Smithsonian Institute, this exhibition of work and labor in American history began its year-long Utah tour in January at the Ogden Union Station.
Danielle Olden, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. The year-long NEH Fellowship will enable Danielle to complete her book, Racial Uncertainties: Mexican Americans, School Desegregation, and the Making of Race in Post-Civil Rights America,which examines Denver, Colorado's battle over school desegregation in the late 1960s and 1970s.
The Utah Council for the Social Studies recently honored Professor Paul Reeve with its University Teacher of the Year Award at its annual conference in Salt Lake City. The UCSS recognized Professor Reeve for his contributions to the teaching of Utah history in particular and his efforts to re-imagine and reinvigorate pedagogical approaches to that subject.
Professor Bradley Parker guests on the Thinking Aloud podcast to discuss Utah's archaeological treasures, the dangers facing petroglyphs and material remains, and how archaeologists and the public can work to preserve them for future generations.