|Celina Gray has
joined the Department of Classical Studies as assistant professor.
Gray came to Wesleyan this fall after a year spent as the Blegen Research
Fellow in the Department of Classics at Vassar College, her alma mater.
Previously, she was assistant professor of Greek art and archaeology at
McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario.
This semester at Wesleyan, she is teaching GRK101, Introduction to Ancient
Greek, and CCIV118, First Year Initiative: Magic in the Ancient World. As a
graduate of a liberal arts college, Gray is excited to be back in a small
"I have always been a strong proponent of a liberal arts education,” Gray
explains. “This semester, I am continually reminded how wonderful it is to
teach and interact with students in this environment; my students are
thoughtful, analytical, creative, enthusiastic and critical. They are
learning for the first time about an ancient culture which is completely
foreign to them, but they continually make observations which allow me to
think about the material in new and interesting ways.”
Gray's research focuses on the material culture of ancient Athens,
especially sculpture and architecture from the Classical to Roman periods.
She has published several articles on Athenian funerary art and her book
project, Buried in the Past: the Funerary Landscape of Roman Athens,
considers issues of citizenship, funerary ritual and the revival of the
She has been invited to present this research
at the “German-American Frontiers of Humanities Symposium” in Potsdam,
Germany this month. Sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and
the American Philosophical Society, the symposium brings together American
and German scholars in a variety of humanities fields. This year’s theme is
“Worlds in Motion: Migration, Boundaries, Identities” and Gray will be
presenting a paper titled, “Defying Definitions: Citizens and Foreigners in
Her interest in Greek art and archaeology developed from interdisciplinary
training in the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean
Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed
her Ph.D. In addition to her work at Berkeley, she has held fellowships at
the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the American Academy
Gray is also a faculty member in Wesleyan’s Archaeology Program. While her
current research usually involves studying gravestones in dusty museum
storerooms, she has extensive archaeological experience on both excavations
and survey projects in Greece (Halai, Nemea, Corinth, Sikyon) and Italy (Oppido
Lucano, Monte Polizzo). Additionally, in future courses and research, she is
hoping to explore questions of cultural heritage and archaeological ethics.