About

Sam and Mayara

I’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at The American University in Cairo, where I live. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, lived in Tennessee while I went to Vanderbilt, lived in Princeton for a few years, then lived in New York City for about 7 years. I’m non-binary and accept “they” or “he” pronouns. I have a tattoo of an octopus. I’m vegan.

At AUC I’ve taught undergraduate courses on science fiction and “Imagining Cleopatra” and graduate courses on ancient Greek and Latin literature in translation. In fall 2021 I’m teaching Experiencing Creativity, Text and Images: Science Fiction, Literature and Cinema: Ecological Vision, and Greek Classics in Translation: Comedy.

I’m the faculty adviser of the Literature Club and ECLT’s faculty senator.

My BA from Vanderbilt is in Mathematics and Classical Languages. As an undergrad I co-authored a paper published in a math journal; I intended to get a PhD in Math before deciding, in the summer before my senior year, to apply to Classics PhD programs instead.

At Princeton my PhD adviser was Brooke Holmes; my dissertation, which I am now expanding into a book (chapter drafts of which I’m posting here on the blog), was called Aristophanes, Posthumanism, and the Roots of Science Fiction. The working title of my monograph is Aristophanes: Power, Politics, and Poetry in the Anthropocene.

In New York I was for some years a DJ, a theater reviewer and chronicler of violence against old bookstores for Hyperallergic, and a companion of AndrewAndrew. Here is a video from a “gig” DJing outside a Mexican restaurant next to my apartment on the Lower East Side.

From 2017-2020 I was Assistant Professor in the Department of World Languages at Bard High School Early College Queens, where I taught Latin and Literature. The students there are phenomenal.

Together with Jesse Weiner I created Back to the Future, a digital platform for teaching classics and science fiction.

My publications include “The potency of the past in comic science fiction: Aristophanes and Philip K. Dick” (Classical Receptions Journal 10.1, 2018), “The ‘Modern’ Prometheus in Antiquity: Aristophanes and Lucian” (American Journal of Philology 140.4, 2019), and “Speculative Fiction, Ecocriticism, and the Wanderings of Odysseus” (Ramus 48.2, 2019). Together with Michiel van Veldhuizen, I am co-editing a volume of essays entitled Imagining the End: Classics and Ecocatastrophe.

My hobbies include making music, snorkeling, and studying Arabic.

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