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Ginna Closs

Ginna Closs

After earning an M. Phil in classical archaeology at Cambridge in 2002, Ginna spent five years teaching high school Latin at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton and Trinity School in Manhattan. She then decided to pursue a Ph. D. in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania as a Benjamin Franklin Fellow, and in 2013 defended her dissertation, "While Rome Burned: Fire, Leadership, and Urban Disaster in the Roman Cultural Imagination."
 
In 2014, Ginna joined the faculty of Classics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst at the rank of Assistant Professor, after spending a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She has enjoyed getting to know current and former students from the UMass MAT program (focused on training secondary school Latin teachers) at reunion events and monthly spoken Latin happy hours. She could occasionally be seen cheering for two students in her GenEd course on "Caesar's World" at UMass men's basketball games. In March, Ginna presented a short paper at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of New England on irregular syntax in Caesar, which she is currently working up for publication. In April, with the support of a Flex Grant for Teaching/Faculty Development funded by the campus through UMass' Center for Teaching and Faculty Development, Ginna hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner Party as the capstone event for her class on "Death, Dining, and Decadence in Neronian Rome." In May, she facilitated a Creative Teaching Salon, designed to bring together UMass faculty for informal social discussions that explore creative instructional ideas. Plans for summer 2015 include isolating herself in a cabin in Montana to make headway with her book project, backpacking in several national parks, and prepping to teach a class on Greek and Roman Comedy in the fall.