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Staff Profile: Classics

Meet Classics professor Dr. Shannon LaFayette-Hogue

By David Maxwell
On February 7, 2012

Latin may be considered a dead language, but Dr. Shannon

LaFayette-Hogue finds plenty of enjoyment in the language and the culture that comes with it. The Newswire had the opportunity to sit down with this Classics professor to talk a little about her expertise and experiences.

  • Xavier Newswire: Where are you originally from?
  • S H : Damascus, M d .
  • XN: What is your educational background?
  • SH: B.A. - University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology M.A. - Tufts University in Classical Archaeology Ph.D. - University of Cincinnati in Classical Archaeology and Aegean Prehistory.
  • XN: How long have you been teaching at Xavier?
  • SH: This is my third year here.
  • XN: What do you enjoy most about Cincinnati/Xavier?
  • SH: The community. Xavier is a great of size school, so I can really get to know many of the students, staff and faculty. It's nice to see so many friendly faces on campus. I really enjoy the community aspect of Cincinnati too, especially the character of all the different neighborhoods and the city festivals.
  • XN: What classes do you teach at Xavier?
  • SH: I teach elementary Latin, ancient Greek history, from Homer to Plato and from Alexander to Cleopatra, Greek archaeology, Roman archaeology, ancient Egyptian history and Near Eastern history.
  • XN: Have you ever had a chance to visit areas where Latin was spoken?
  • SH: I have worked in Greece and Cyprus many times on archaeological projects and had the opportunity to visit Italy once.
  • XN: What were the most enjoyable parts of those trips?
  • SH: While working in Greece, I typically stay in a family-run hotel in a rural, southern town. Every Sunday, the father, who runs the hotel, bakes fresh bread in an outdoor stone oven and serves it with local olive oil and eggs for breakfast. I also love spending a day at the archaeological site, then heading to the local taverna for dinner by the sea. In Italy, visiting the ancient Roman forum and reading the ancient inscriptions in person, surrounded by the sounds of modern Rome, was an amazing experience. I also really enjoyed visiting the Coliseum.
  • XN: What do you enjoy about Latin?
  • SH: I enjoy the composition of Latin; many ancient authors were highly skilled at composing persuasive and evocative literature by manipulating the word choice and overall composition. Latin can be very terse and yet so expressive. The style and the content of the Latin language convey  so much about the culture of the ancient Romans.
  • XN: Why is it important to study the culture associated with Latin?
  • SH: Roman civilization and the Latin language gave rise to many aspects of Western civilization. I think that it is important to recognize that we can understand our own culture and world even better by gaining an understanding and appreciation for the past.
  • XN: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • SH: Mostly I relax with my husband, my friends and my greyhound in my free time. I love football and my hometown team, the Washington Redskins, for better or for worse. There are great restaurants in Cincinnati and I love good  food. I practice yoga, and when it's nice out I ride my bike, go camping and visit the Bourbon Trail.

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