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Biographical Info of N. Gregson Davis

N. Gregson G. Davis, currently Andrew W. Mellon Research Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature at Duke University, received his PhD in Comparative Literature (Greek, Latin, French) from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969. He obtained the AB degree in Classics (magna cum laude) from Harvard College, where, as a 19-year-old valedictorian from the Caribbean island of Antigua, he delivered the Latin oration at the Commencement exercises in 1960. He subsequently taught both Classics and Comparative Literature at Stanford University for over two decades, followed by a five-year stint at Cornell University, where, as Goldwin Smith Professor of Comparative Literature and Classics, he successively chaired the departments of Comparative Literature and Classics and also served as interim Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. He joined the faculty of Duke University in 1994 with a primary appointment in Classical Studies and a secondary appointment in the Program in Literature. At Duke his administrative appointments have included the chairmanship of the Department of Classical Studies as well as a five-year term as Dean of Humanities (2004-9). He has recently taught in the Department of Classics at New York University from 2011-2013. Professor Davis’ wide-ranging research interests encompass both the Classics (with a focus on Latin poetry of the Augustan period and Archaic Greek lyric) and Comparative Literature (with a focus on contemporary literature of the anglophone and francophone Caribbean). In the latter field, he has published books and articles on the literary and political career of the late Martinican statesman, Aimé Césaire, and essays on the St. Lucian poet laureate, Derek Walcott. His most recent publications include the monograph: Parthenope: The Interplay of Ideas in Vergilian Bucolic, and The Blackwell Companion to Horace (for which he served both as editor and a contributing author). Professor Davis’ research on Caribbean literature has included a literary-historical investigation into the “Antiguan connection” in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, as well as the reception of Classical Literature in the poetry of Derek Walcott. A major contribution he has made to the interpretation of Latin poetry of the Augustan period is the monograph, Polyhymnia: the Rhetoric of Horatian Lyric Discourse (University of California Press, 1991).

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