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Sarah W

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Stanford University

Expertise

Archaeology; Classics; Ancient History; Greek Language and Mythology; Digital Humanities

Bio

Hello! My name is Sarah, and I teach and mentor in Classics, ancient history, mythology, ancient/classical languages, and all other subjects related to the study of the ancient world. I completed my PhD in Classics with a focus on archaeology at Stanford University in 2023. My research focuses on ancient Greek and Roman ceramics, and uses these ceramics to understand how people built communities in the past. My dissertation explored the economic and social connections that came from shared drinking and dining customs -- how people in the past stocked their pantry, set their table, and shared drinks with friends and family -- as evidenced by the pottery they left behind. As an archaeologist, I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world for research. After completing my BA in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, I moved to Oxford to pursue my masters degree in Classical Archaeology before coming to Stanford for my PhD, and finally moving to Oberlin for my current job. Over the last ten years, I have worked on archaeological projects in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and the United States. For my current fieldwork, I travel to Sicily and Turkey to study pottery from shipwrecks and ancient harbors. Beyond this research, I love teaching and I am passionate making humanities education more accessible to everyone. I am specifically interested in the way that new classroom designs and teaching strategies can help more students learn Classics, and the way that digital technologies and can be used to bring civilizations of the past to classrooms of the present.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Ancient Tourism: Traveling through the Greek and Roman world

In this project, you'll use archaeology to better understand how people lived in the Greek and Roman past. Throughout the project, you will select several places, people, or time periods from the ancient world that most interest you, and study them through archaeological evidence. Students will be encouraged to think about how the identities of ancient individuals would have shaped their lived experience back then as it does today. Through this course you will learn a significant amount of ancient Greek and/or Roman history, and will better understand how archaeology can be used to answer historical and cultural questions. A final project could take the form of a research paper, a historically accurate fictional biography, or a hypothetical museum exhibition. Some background in Greek and Roman history is welcome, but certainly not required.

Becoming the next Homer: A study of ancient Greek mythology

In this project, you will learn about ancient Greek mythology through texts and archaeological artifacts. You will study how myths were born and transmitted, and the techniques that writers and artists used to bring them to life. As the course progresses, students will narrow their focus to examine a particular myth, mythological theme, or mythological figure, and will use this myth, theme, or figure to learn more about Greek writings, beliefs, and practices. A final project for this course could take the form of a critical research paper on Greek mythology, or an original Greek myth based on ancient examples. Knowledge of ancient Greek mythology is welcome but certainly not required.

Coding skills

Python

Languages I know

English; French; Ancient Greek; Italian

Teaching experience

1) While at Stanford, I taught a small ancient Greek language class. I focused on well-known mythological texts and themes to increase student confidence and enjoyment of the material. 2) Also at Stanford, I’ve worked as a teaching assistant for three ancient history and archaeology classes, with topics ranging from Greek history to Roman engineering. 3) Off campus, I have spent several years teaching undergraduates and graduates overseas while they attended archaeological field schools. 4) I have also had the chance to work with younger learners! I've spent several years teaching introductory archaeology courses for Stanford Splash, a two-day learning program for students in grades 8-12 held at Stanford. For the last four years, I have also spent time in many Bay Area K-12 schools teaching students about archaeology and history.

Credentials

Work experience

Oberlin College (2023 - Current)
Visiting Assistant Professor/Postdoc

Education

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
Classical Studies (Concentration: Civilizations)
Oxford University
MPhil Master of Philosophy (2017)
Classical Archaeology
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Classics: Classical Archaeology

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