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Amy Cohen

Amy Cohen

Ph.D. Language and Literature, 1999

Amy received a B.A. in Classics (Greek) at Yale University, and then a Ph.D. in Classics, with a minor in Comparative Literature, at Stanford University. Her doctoral work focused on the interpretive implications of doubling and the three-actor convention in Greek tragedy.

At Randolph College, she and her students put that work on its feet by continuing the R-MWC Greek Play tradition, begun in 1909 by Greek Professor Mabel K. Whiteside. Directing the plays provides insight into the realities facing the ancient playwrights, and her research continues to argue that you cannot understand the plays without understanding how they were played. She has now directed seven productions using original practices, six in the Whiteside Greek Theatre on campus and one in Greece as part of the 2009 summer travel seminar, "Practical Wisdom: Philosophy and Drama in Greece."

Although Greek drama is her specialty, she loves teaching any course that leads students into an understanding of ancient literature and culture, in translation or in the original language. She has never met an obscure grammatical term she didn't love, and she does her best to inspire passion for them in her ancient Greek courses. She also tries to help students remember that the point of learning that declension or conjugation is to be able to read the words of the ancients, and to draw us that much closer to understanding them and their importance to us.