My new book, The First Black Archaeologist: A Life of John Wesley Gilbertis now available for pre-order through Oxford University Press.  Pre-orders will ship on December 6, 2021.

I will be speaking about Prof. Gilbert via Zoom for the Augusta African American Historical Society on November 4, 2021 at 6:00pm Eastern Time.

I recently contributed to an Oxford University Press blog post on Williams Sanders Scarborough, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), and black classical scholarship.  A video recording of my 2019 lecture in Athens about John Wesley Gilbert, the first African American member of the ASCSA (1890-91), is available here. You can read my articles about Prof. Gilbert here and here, and read a Greek news interview here.    

To learn more about African American intellectual life in Prof. Gilbert’s home town of Augusta, Georgia, visit Paine Collegethe Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black Historyand Historic Augusta.  

My UCSB Library exhibition on Helmets of the First World War remains available online.  And, click here to watch my UCSB Faculty Focus interview about being a historian.

Personal Statement:

I study the history of ancient West Asia, especially war, society, and culture in the Greek and Achaemenid world from ca. 650-330 BC.  I also study receptions, interpretations, and representations of antiquity in the United States, especially amongst African American classical scholars during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  My biography of John Wesley Gilbert (1863-1923), the first African American scholar to attend the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, will be published by Oxford University Press.

I teach graduate and undergraduate ancient history courses, survey courses in ancient world history, and classes in the history of warfare from antiquity to the present. I have run archaeological field schools and travel-study programs in Greece and Turkey, including a Summer Session for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA).

I am a member of UCSB’s interdisciplinary Ancient Mediterranean Studies PhD Emphasis, the Ancient Borderlands Research Focus Group, and the UCSB Iranian Studies Initiative.

I serve as faculty advisor for the UCSB Chapter of the Student Veterans of America. If you are a student veteran, military dependent, or other military-affiliated student on campus or interested in attending UCSB, please feel free to contact me for information about the SVA@UCSB and about support for veterans, dependents, and other military-affiliated students at UCSB. You may also visit the web site for UCSB Veterans and Military Services.

Graduate Study in Ancient History at UCSB

UCSB has a vibrant, inclusive, multidisciplinary ancient studies community that brings together faculty and students from History, Classics, History of Art & Architecture, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and other departments. Our Ancient History PhD program emphasizes both research and teaching. We provide rigorous graduate mentoring in a collegial, supportive environment. Through our seminars, lecture series, and other events, our graduate students have the opportunity to meet distinguished visiting scholars from around the world. Our PhDs have found success in tenure-track positions at research universities and liberal arts colleges, and in non-academic careers.

In addition to campus-wide and departmental funding, graduate support for ancient history students is available through the Drake and Sizgorich Funds, UCSB History Associates, and other sources.

For more information about the UCSB graduate program in Ancient History, please read our departmental field description.    If you are interested in applying to the graduate program for entry in 2022-2023, please contact me during fall 2021 to discuss your application.
This page was last updated on: 26.ix.2021

Advisor to:

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Ancient Greece & Achaemenid Persia
  • African American Scholars and Classical Studies in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • History of Warfare
  • Greek Archaeology and Epigraphy

Current Projects:

  • The First Black Archaeologist: A Life of John Wesley Gilbert (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • “African American Travelers Encounter Greece, ca. 1850-1900” (in preparation for American Journal of Philology special issue)
  • “That First Trip to Central Greece:” John Pickard’s 1890 account of the first ASCSA trip through Phocis and Boeotia; with material from Andrew Fossum’s 1937 account of the same trip.
  • Depictions of Achaemenid History in 19th-20th Century U.S. School Textbooks
  • Civil War and Revolt in Achaemenid Persia
  • ARCHE Project: Advanced Research in the Comparative History of Empires. Digital Athenian Empire and online atlas of Achaemenid Persia (under construction).

Selected Publications:


Courses Taught:

  • History 2A: World Civilizations to AD 750
    An introduction to the early civilizations of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Mediterranean, and Oceania.  Fall 2021.
  • History 111A: Early Greece, 3000-750 BC
    Topics include Neolithic culture in the Aegean, Bronze Age Minoan & Mycenaean civilization, the Late Bronze Age international system, the historicity of the Trojan War, and early Iron Age Greece.
  • History 111B: The Archaic and Classical Greek World, 750-323 BC
    Topics include the polis (“city-state”), Greek-Persian interactions, the society and culture of classical Greece, the Peloponnesian War, and the rise of Macedon.
  • History 111C: The Hellenistic World, 323-30 BC
    Topics include the campaigns of Alexander, the formation of the Hellenistic kingdoms, Greek federal states, Hellenistic science and technology, and ethnicity and culture in the Hellenistic world.
  • History 111F: Achaemenid Persia, 559-330 BC
    Ancient Persia from Cyrus to Alexander. Topics include the development of Achaemenid imperialism, economic and social history of the empire, art and architecture, and cultural interactions amongst Persians, Greeks, and others.
  • History 111R: Research Seminar in Ancient History
    Research seminar for history majors. Participants write a 15-20 page paper. Spring 2022.
  • History 111T: Topics in Ancient History
    Upper-division lecture course; topics vary by quarter. Winter 2022: The World of Xenophon, ca. 430-350 BC.
  • History 201E: Reading Seminar in Ancient History
    Recent topics: Historiography of Classical Greece & Achaemenid Persia; Greek and Near Eastern Economies and Societies; Comparative Histories of Ancient Greece and Early China.
  • History 211A & 211B: Research Seminar in Ancient History
    Most recent topic: Civil War, Revolt, and Rebellion in the Greek & Achaemenid World.

Honors and Professional Activities:

Honors and Awards
Professional Activities

Archaeological Fieldwork

  • Mitrou Archaeological Project.  Field School Co-Director, 2005.
  • Cornell Halai and East Lokris Project.  Excavation Staff, 1999-2004.

Media Appearances and Public History

Web Links and Resources