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Faculty Spotlight: Stephens

Join us as we shine a light on our tremendous faculty!  This month, we're sitting down Prof. Stephens.


Where are you from / where did you grow up?

I'm originally from Michigan and spent my childhood / PhD school there, but I've also lived in Missouri, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, and now Virginia.

What's your favorite class to teach?

My favorite classes to teach are the History of Ancient Greece and Rome -- they are exactly what brought me to the study of antiquity and I very much enjoy sharing my love of these topics with my students.  At the same time, I anticipate that my upcoming Comparative Slavery course (ancient to modern) will give them a run in the favorite race!

Do you have any hobbies?

Before I figured out what career I wanted to pursue, I went to culinary school for a year -- as a result, cooking and gardening have become my two main hobbies.  Growing the food that I cook with is so much fun and it tastes better too.  

What was your favorite class when you were an undergrad?

Honestly, it was a Chaucer class in which we had to memorize the first 52 lines of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales in the Middle English.  I can still recite some of it: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droghte of March hath perced to the roote, and bath every veyne in swich licour of which vert engendered is the flour...  I'll spare you the rest...

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 books would you bring?

Tolstoy's War and Peace, Livy (I'm cheating a little and bringing all that's extant...), and Paradise by Toni Morrison.

Prof. Stephens