Indiana University, Bloomington
As a scholar in the field of Classical Studies, Professor Eleanor Winsor Leach positions her writing and teaching at the intersection of Roman Literature, material culture and social history. Her characteristic interdisciplinary approach enlists insights from literary and cultural theory to enlarge upon the classicist's traditional orientation towards a reconstructive understanding of ancient life.
Her first book Vergil's Eclogues: Landscapes of Experience studies pastoral poetry with reference to the ideology of the Roman agricultural countryside. Work on pictorial landscape representation for this project led to the more expansive treatment in The Rhetoric of Space: Visual and Literary Representations of Landscape in Republican Augustan Rome of spatial depiction as a mode of reconstructing visual imagination and the experience of viewing. Her most recent book The Social Life of Painting in Ancient Rome and on the Bay of Naples examines the history of programmatic mural painting in relationship to the functional definition of spaces within the dynamic of Roman social and political practice. Similar interests characterize the articles that Professor Leach has published on topics in Latin Literature ranging from Plautine comedy to the Younger Pliny, on Roman painting and its Renaissance reception and on self-representation in Roman epistolary writing and portrait sculpture which is the subject of her current major research project.
A native of Rhode Island, Professor Leach received her A.B. and
Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College and Yale University respectively. She has
frequently pursued her research on Roman art in Rome and Campania,
especially at the Vesuvian site of Pompeii. She has held the position
of Resident Scholar in Classical Studies at the American Academy in
Rome, where she has twice directed NEH Summer Seminars for College
Teachers. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Wesleyan Institute
for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle,
and Wolfson College, Oxford University and the National Gallery in
Washington's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. Grants to
support her work have come from the S.F. Guggenheim Foundation, the
National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of
Learned Societies. Upon coming to Indiana in 1977, she served two terms
as department chairman and is currently director of graduate studies.
In 2004 the membership of the American Philological Association, the
major North American society representing scholarship in Classics,
elected her as its President for 2005/2006.
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