Curriculum Vitae


B.A., University of Texas, Austin, 1963
Latin and Plan II
Phi Beta Kappa
Honors in Latin

M.A., Columbia University, 1964
Greek and Latin

Ph.D., Columbia University, 1967
Greek and Latin
Dissertation: “Poetry in the Consolatio Philosophiae of Boethius”


University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana:
Assistant Professor of Classics, 1967-1969

Fisk University:
Director of the Honors Program and Assistant Professor of English, 1969-1971

Vanderbilt University:
Assistant Professor of Classics, 1971-1975
Associate Professor of Classics, 1975-1989
Professor of Classics, 1989-2007
Chair, Department of Classical Studies, 1989-1995; 1999-2005
Professor of Classics, Emerita, May 2007 – present

Honorary degree:

Doctor of Humane Letters, Kenyon College, 1998


Presidential appointment (Senate confirmed) to the National Council on the Humanities, 1997-2002.


Public and Private in Vergil’s Aeneid (University of Massachusetts Press, 1989)

Greece, Rome, and the Bill of Rights (University of Oklahoma Press, 1992). Winner of the Alex Haley Memorial Award for 1993

Seasons of Grief and Grace: a Sister’s Story of AIDS (Vanderbilt University Press, 1994)
Winner of the Class of 1959 Hero Award

Classical Nashville: Athens of the South [co-author] (Vanderbilt University Press, 1996) Overall Award of Excellence, Southern Books Competition, 1998

Athena’s Disguises: Mentors in Everyday Life (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998)

Windmills and Bridges: Poems Near and Far (Eakin Press, 2002)

The Long View: Essays, Poems, Stories (Cordelia Hollis Publishing, 2015)

Penelope Returning: Collected Poems (Cordelia Hollis Publishing, 2021)

Parts of Books:

“Sam Houston and the Iliad,” included in Houston and Crockett: Heroes of Tennessee and Texas,  Tennessee Historical Commission (Nashville l986) 18-23.

Foreword to Rachel Maddux, Communication, ed. Nancy A. Walker, (University of Tennessee Press, l991).

“War and Peace in Aeneid X,” The Two Worlds of the Poet: New Perspectives on Virgil, ed. Robert M. Wilhelm and Howard Jones (Wayne State University Press, 1992) 189-205.

“The Authority of Experience,” chapter in Compromising Traditions: The Personal Voice in Classical Scholarship, ed. Judith P. Hallett and Thomas Van Nortwick (Routledge, 1997) 168-81.

“The Man Who Was Not There: Aeneas and Absence in Aeneid 9,” chapter in Reading Vergil’s Aeneid, ed. Christine Perkell (University of Oklahoma Press, 1999) 162-177.

“Words and Music,” in Nashville, An American Self-Portrait, ed. John Egerton and E. Thomas Wood (Nashville: Beaten Biscuit Press, 2001) 272-273.

“Standing on the Promises: Absolutes and Imagination in Southern Religion,” in Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent, ed. Anthony Dunbar (NewSouth Press, 2004) 45-60.

“Hospitality or Exile: Race, Sexual Orientation, and Sophocles,” in American Crisis, Southern Solutions, ed. Anthony Dunbar (NewSouth Press, 2008) 152-168.

“Leaving School,” in Classical World, special issue on the ‘Harvard school’ of Vergilian interpretation, Fall 2017, III.1, 123-125.

Edited Volumes:

The Usefulness of Classical Learning in the Eighteenth Century
(University Park, Pa.: American Philological Association, 1976).

The Classical Tradition in the South, special issue of Southern Humanities Review (Fall, 1977).

Prairie Laureate: The Collected Poems of Robert Lee Brothers (Austin, Eakin Press, 1998)

Classical Considerations: Useful Wisdom from Greece and Rome 
(Bolchazi-Carducci Press, 2005)

Encyclopedia essays:

“The Classical Vision,” in Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001) 1.237-247

“Mothers and Children in the Aeneid,” in The Virgil Encyclopedia (2011)


“Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on the Classics,” Arion 6 (Spring, 1967) 116-132.

“Boethius and the Summum Bonum,” Classical Journal 67 (February-March, 1972) 216-220.

“Sam Houston and the Iliad,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 32.3 (Fall, 1973) 249-254.

“Nunc age–Lucretius as Teacher,” Classical Bulletin 50.3 (January, 1974) 33-37.

“Antigone’s Disobedience,” Arethusa 9.1 (Spring, 1976) 29-36.

“Catullus Venustus,” Classical World 70 (February, 1977) 319-326.

“Jefferson, Calhoun, and the Slavery Debate: The Classics and the Two Minds of the South,” Southern Humanities Review (Special Issue, Fall, 1977) 33-40.

“Aeneas in America,” Vergilius 25 (1979) 2-9.

“Achilles in Kabul: Classical Patterns in M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions,” Classical and Modern Literature 1.2
(Winter, 1980) 85-89.

“The Athena Temple at Paestum and Pythagorean Theory,” (with Ned Nabers), Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 21 (1980) 207-215.

“Diomedes and Aeneas: A Vergilian Paradox,” (with August H. Krickel), Classical Bulletin 58 (1982) 73-77.

Omnibus est labor: Vergil and the Work of the Classics,” Classical Journal 80 (October-November 1984) 1-7.

“Self-distancing in the Aeneid,” Vergilius 30 (1984) 25-31.

“Humanities and Mathematics: A New Approach to the Classics,” Classical World 79 (1986) 177-182.

“Vergil’s Aeneid and Poetry in the Public Realm,” in Vergilian Bimillenary Lectures, 1982 (Vergilius, Supplementary Volume 2) 118-144.

“Vergil, Allen Tate, and the Analogy of Experience,” Classical and Modern Literature 5.2 (Winter 1985) 87-98.

“Aristotle in America,” Humanities 8.1 (1987) 8-11.

“Rome on the Potomac: Vergil and Public Life in America,” Augustan Age 6 (1987) 219-226.

“On Authoring and Authority,” Southern Humanities Review 21.3 (1987) 231-235.

“The Greek Origin of Public Life and Constitutional Separation of Powers,” Touchstone 11 (1987) 10-12.

“Vergil’s Rome and the American Experience,” introduction to special issue of Augustan Age (1988) 1-4.

“A Second Identity: Two Views of the Classics,” Prima 1.2 (Fall, l988) 24-28.

“The Ancient Origins of Public Life and Constitutional Separation of Powers,” (forthcoming in Journal of the Classical Tradition, vol. 1).

“Aeneas in Tennessee: Vergil and the Vanderbilt Fugitives,” Vanderbilt Magazine, 73.4 (Fall, l989) 10-12.

“How Free is Free Expression?” (contributions), Vanderbilt Lawyer 21.2 (1991) 5.

“Our Rights are Rooted in Greece and Rome,” special section on the Bill of Rights, The Tennessean, December 15, 1991, 5-D.

Publications in Related Fields:

“The Prison Poetry of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” Religion in Life (Autumn, 1969) 522-534.

“Keeping on Keeping on in College,” The Student 52.8 (May, 1973) 15-17.

“Disclosures (1795),” The New Republic (July 27 and August 3, 1974) 9.

“Combining Two Worlds,” in Images: Women in Transition (Nashville, 1976) 136-137.

“Realizing the Seeds of Freedom,” Chapter 3 in Jubilee: A Study Resource for the Bicentennial (Nashville, 1976) 24-35.

“Process Theology and God as Parent,” The Christian Century (October 5, 1977) 874-876. (lead article)

“The Fox and the Hedgehog: Excellence in the University,” Vanderbilt Alumnus 66.3 (Summer, 1981) 18-20.

“A Scholar’s Holly: A Classics Professor Assesses Buddy Holly’s Achievement,” Lubbock Magazine (September 1997) 43-44.

“A Letter to my Daughter” [Women’s Equity at Vanderbilt], Vanderbilt Magazine, (Fall 2016) 32-39.


“The Auction,” in Home Works: A Book of Tennessee Writers, ed. Phyllis Tickle (Tennessee Arts Commission and the University of Tennessee Press, 1996). [Short story]

“The Quilt,” in Let’s Hear It: Stories by Texas Women Writers, ed. Sylvia Ann Grider and Lou Halsell Rodenberger (Texas A&M University Press, 2003) 341-348.

“Colonus, A Novella,” in The Long View (2015) 194-243.


“Evolutionary Artist,” in Number: an independent journal of the visual arts (#38, summer, 2000) 26.

“Solace,” in Lubbock Magazine, 7.9 (October, 2001) 17.

Windmills and Bridges: Poems Near and Far, (Eakin Press, 2002).

Penelope Returning: Collected Poems, (Cordelia Hollis Publishing, 2021)


Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, 1963-1964

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship, 1966-1967

Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 1979

National Endowment for the Humanities grant, “A Humanities Approach to Mathematics,” 1980-1982

Thomas Jefferson Award for Contributions to the Councils and Governance of the University, 1982

Alumni Education Award, Vanderbilt Alumni Association, 1983

Chancellor’s Cup for Contributions to Student-Faculty Relations Outside the Classroom, l986

Best Paper of Conference, South Central Bell Award, Southern Humanities Conference, l987

National Endowment for the Humanities grant, “Novus Ordo Seclorum, Vergil’s Rome and the American Experience,” l987

Affirmative Action and Human Rights Award, Vanderbilt University, l990

Phi Beta Kappa Associates Lectureship Panel, 1991-92; 1992-93

Mary Jane Werthan Award for the Extraordinary Contributions to the Advancement of Women at Vanderbilt University, 1992

Hall of Fame, Roscoe Wilson Elementary Magnet School, Lubbock, Texas, 1997