Department of Classics

Two Professors Join the Ranks of Emeritae

Wed, June 25, 2008

After decades of distinguished service at UT, Professors Ingrid Edlund-Berry and Cynthia Shelmerdine are retiring at the end of academic year 2007-8. Upon their retirement, Professor Edlund-Berry will become Professor Emerita of Classics, and Professor Shelmerdine the Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor Emerita of Classics. We thank them each and both for their many years of distinguished teaching and service in the Department and wish them continuing vigor in all varieties of schole, scholarship of course included: numquam minus otiosae quam cum otiosae!

Professor Edlund-Berry, since joining UT exactly three decades ago (1978), has made Roman and Etruscan archaeology an integral part of our undergraduate and graduate programs, overseen our thriving Latin program for 15 years straight, and maintained an intensive research program funded by numerous grants. An active field archaeologist, she has been the face of Etruscan and Roman archaeology here, teaching, mentoring, supervising students, building library and image collections, and continually active in fieldwork and publication – especially on her beloved Etruscans. An international symposium on “Etruscans in Austin,” which Ingrid organized in February 2008, brought together Etruscologists from far and wide. In the past five years, she has seen three books into print: a collaborative volume and two edited collections; she now has a fourth forthcoming, and she is well advanced on two more monographs. She also maintains a lively interest in “New Sweden” -- immigrant life and acculturation in Texas -- and runs marathons competitively.

Professor Shelmerdine joined UT straight out of Harvard 31 years ago. She became the first woman Professor in Classics (1997), the first woman to Chair the Department (1998-2002, 2005-7), and the first woman to hold a named Professorship in Classics, as the Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor (2002-8). In her long and distinguished career as a teacher, scholar, and administrator at the University of Texas, she has helped make Texas a center for the study of Bronze Age Greece and played a leading role in establishing our Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP). Her doctoral students are active teachers and scholars around the world, and she has held visiting appointments at Dartmouth (1986), Whitman College (1992), the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (as the Gertrude Smith Professor 1988), and the University of Cincinnati (as the Tytus Fellow 2002). More recently, the American Institute of Archaeology designated her the Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer for 2006-7; and she has seen two books into print in her final year of teaching: the second edition of her textbook for beginning Greek and the Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age. Her active field positions have included co-director of PRAP (Pylian Regional Archaeological Project, 1992-8), and ceramics expert for IAP (Iklaina Archaeological Project) since 2000. She is continuing her vigorous program of research in retirement, as well as her participation in chamber concerts of Early Music, and energetic competition in the higher reaches of canine agility.

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