- Office: MCG 138
Jenn Cianca holds a BA (Classics) from Bishop’s University, and an MA and PhD (Religion) from the University of Toronto. She is cross-appointed in the Department of Classics and the Liberal Arts Programme. Her current research interests focus on the domestic art and architecture of the ancient Mediterranean, pilgrimage, and theories of space and place in the human experience. She teaches courses on the art and architecture of Greece and Rome, Roman religion, and sacred space.
Dr. Catherine Tracy completed her BA and MA in Classics at Dalhousie University, and her PhD at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her current area of research is popular politics in the late Roman Republic. At Bishop’s University she coordinates a series of Classics lectures by visiting scholars, and the Humanities Lecture Series which involves evening talks by members of the Bishop’s faculty. She teaches courses on ancient democracy, Roman history, sex and gender in the Greek and Roman worlds, and the Latin and Greek languages.
Dr. Tracy’s current research focuses on the strategies employed by political agents in the Roman Republic. This includes the political decisions of the ordinary Roman voters, whose behaviour can be accessed indirectly through the published speeches, letters, and treatises of the politician Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero’s populism has tended to be ignored since, in his published writing, he tried to conceal the precarious hold he had on elite political support, and to conceal his efforts to appeal to the mass of urban and rural voters. Dr Tracy’s work focuses on Cicero’s real dependence on popular support, and thereby adds more evidence to the “democracy debate” that has interested historians of the Roman republic for the last 20 years. Dr Tracy’s theoretical approach involves Rational Choice Theory and Game Theory as methods for understanding and evaluating the behaviour of the various political agents of Republic Rome.
She has a forthcoming article entitled “Constantia: Cicero’s Practical Philosophy” (within a collection entitled “Cicero’s Practical Philosophy”, University of Notre Dame Press 2008) that discusses the ways in which Cicero responded to the popular requirements of being a successful politician, and how he then explained and justified such populist activity within the elite context of philosophical debate. She is also working on a study of the power of non-voting urban crowds in Roman politics (“Who Were the Quirites? The Composition of Contio Audiences”, presented in oral form at the American Philological Association conference in January 2008).
A study of Roman adoption, which relates to her interest in social and political strategies, is also in progress. Romans used the artificial creation and dissolution of kinship ties to allow the male head of household (the “pater familias”) to control his property and his name. While not unaware of the reality of blood ties, they privileged the laws of adoption to an extraordinary degree. An adopted son acquired all the rights and responsibilities of a genetic son (and could supersede a genetic son if the pater familias chose). At an inferior social level, freed slaves also acquired their ex-masters’ names. A pater familias of sufficient wealth and position thus overcame the limitations of ordinary procreation, which thereby freed him from dependence on the reproductive powers of his legitimate wife. The link between patriarchy and adoption is therefore important in understanding Roman social and political relations.
(Forthcoming) “Constantia: Cicero’s Practical Philosophy” in Walter Nicgorski [ed.] Cicero’s Practical Philosophy (University of Notre Dame Press, 2008)
“Who Were the Quirites? The Composition of Contio Audiences” at the American Philological Association (APA), Chicago, IL, January 2008
“What Did Cicero Ever Do For the Romans?” at the Classical Association of Canada (CAC), St. John’s, NL, May 2007
“Rhetorical Reciprocity in Cicero’s Populist Speeches” as part of Bishop’s University “Research Week”, Sherbrooke, QC, March 2007
“The Influence of Cicero’s Politics on his Philosophy” at a symposium called “Cicero’s Practical Philosophy” at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, October 2006
“The Optimate Stance: Why Cicero Claimed to Despise the People” at the CAC, Banff, AB, May 2005
“Cicero’s Inadvertent Honesty and the Power of the People” at the CAC, Québec City, QC, May, 2004
“Can the Agricola Speak? Elite Representations of the Roman Farmer” at the CAC,Fredericton, NB, May, 2003
“The Host’s Dilemma: Game Theory and Homeric Hospitality” at the CAC, Vancouver, BC, May, 2002
“Ovid’s Art: The Presence of Pornography in His Love Poetry” at the Atlantic Classical Association (ACA), Sackville, NB, October, 1998
“The Constancy of His Insincerity: Ovid’s Amores 3.14” at the ACA, Halifax, NS, October, 1997
A Bishop’s alumnus, Professor Westman has a long history with the Classics Department. After completing his undergraduate degree, he continued his education at McGill where he obtained his Masters Degree in Classics and is currently working on his PhD. Professor Westman’s field of research is Latin poetry with a focus on Virgil and Propertius. He teaches the introductory Classics course, mythology and ancient history. Professor Westman also teaches a variety of Classics, Liberal Arts and Humanities courses at Champlain Regional College.