May 22, 2024

Pitts Speaks on Women’s Writings of Ancient Greece

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Angela Pitts

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Angela Pitts

Professor of Classics Angela L. Pitts spoke at the annual Eta Sigma Phi lecture on Wednesday, April 12, in Lee Hall. Eta Sigma Phi is the national collegiate honor society for students of Greek and Latin.

Pitts delivered a talk on women’s writings of ancient Greece titled “Surviving Loss:  Women’s Writings of Ancient Greece and the Distaff of Erinna.” The lecture was followed by a reception and celebration of the publication of Pitts’ recent book, Ancient Women Writers of Greece and Rome, which she co-authored with Bart Natoli and Judith Hallett. Earlier this month, their book, published by Routledge, received the Bolchazy Pedagogy Award at the annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, held in Provo, Utah.

Pitts’ Book Wins Bolchazy Pedagogy Award

Ancient Women Writers of Greece and Rome

Ancient Women Writers of Greece and Rome

The Classical Association of the Middle, West and South (CAMWS) has awarded UMW Classics Professor Angela Pitts and co-authors the 2023 Bolchazy Pedagogy Award for their book, Ancient Women Writers of Greece and Rome, published by Routledge in June, 2022. The Bolchazy-Carducci Pedagogy Award recognizes a book in the field of classical studies of outstanding quality and potential for broad impact for use in the classroom.

Ancient Women Writers of Greece and Rome features the extant writings of major female writers from the Greco-Roman world, brought together for the first time in a single volume, in both their original languages and in translation.  The book provides Greek and Latin vocabulary and commentary, as well as introductions for each author, that help to provide social, historical, literary and scholarly context. It is a valuable teaching tool for those interested in ancient literature, history, women’s writings and gender studies.

Pitts co-authored the book with Bartolo Natoli (Randolph Macon College) and Judith Hallett (Emerita, University of Maryland-College Park).

The award selection committee described the publication as ” a sourcebook that offers clear, concise, and much-needed introductory commentaries for a wide selection of ancient Greek and Latin texts written by women authors in the ancient Mediterranean world. Each section of text and commentary (organized by ancient author) is followed by lucid translations of the passages. Moreover, the book incorporates more than the literary tradition by tapping into epigraphic sources, like the Vindolanda tablets, allowing the reader to learn also about marginalized segments of Greek and Roman literary society. Some of the texts and authors that this book includes are difficult to find in extant teaching resources (e.g. Moero of Byzantium), and the co-authors present all the material in a nicely edited and accessible format. These efforts ensure that students and future generations of students will more easily read and consider the writings of women within the ancient world. The volume has the potential to engage students in important conversations happening within our discipline (and within humanities in general) about gender, sex, and authority, across many centuries of the ancient world. The CAMWS committee offers congratulations to the co-authors for creating this excellent, affordable, and accessible sourcebook.”

Pitts’ research interests include Ancient Greek Lyric and Epic Poetry, Mythology, and Gender Studies.


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University of Mary Washington sophomore Brooke Prevedel considered dozens of schools on her quest to study ancient Greece and Rome in college. What she learned about the classics program at UMW catapulted it to the top of her list and convinced her to move 2,000 miles across the country from Colorado. “Now that I’m attending […]

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Liane Houghtalin Elected President of the Classical Association of Virginia

Liane Houghtalin, Professor of Classics, was elected to a two-year term as president of the Classical Association of Virginia at its annual spring meeting on May 5. Professor Houghtalin has served in various offices of the organization, including as its treasurer and as its vice president, since 1998.

The Classical Association of Virginia holds two meetings each year; offers awards for professional development and teaching, scholarships, and annual competitions for high school students of Latin; and acts as the liaison for classical languages in Virginia with other professional organizations.

The spring 2018 meeting was held at Mary Washington and was notable for the active participation of Mary Washington faculty and alumni. Angela Pitts, Professor of Classics at Mary Washington, spoke on the sounds of war in the Iliad.  One alumnus, Mark Keith (National Latin Exam and Riverbend High School), presided over the meeting as the outgoing president; and another alumna, Susann Lusnia (Tulane University) returned to Fredericksburg to deliver a talk on reading images of violence in Roman art.

Mindfulness Week, Sept. 28-Oct. 2

The 3rd Annual UMW Mindfulness Week will take place during the week of Mon., Sept. 28-Fri. Oct. 2nd, and will feature a variety of workshops and lectures on the theme of Mindfulness.  All events are free and are open to UMW faculty, students, and staff.  The keynote lecture on Fri. Oct. 2nd is also open to the public.

Mon. Sep. 28: Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop:  Bhante Seelananda, Bhavana Society of West Virginia,  Ridderhof Martin Art Gallery, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Bhante Seelananda of the Bhavana Society of West Virginia, a Buddhist monastery, provides an introduction to mindfulness, an overview of some of the benefits of mindfulness, discussion of the 21st century challenges for being mindful, and strategies for incorporating mindfulness into daily life.

Tues. Sep. 29thGuided Mindfulness Meditation Practice: Bill Brooks, Manse Fields Mindfulness, ITCC Digital Auditorium, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Take a pause from your busy routine — give yourself the gift of silent reflection. This Mindfulness Week event will help you touch your natural ability to meditate. You will have the opportunity to participate in guided meditations, to receive instruction on meditation and how to practice, and to ask questions and discuss your meditation experience. This event is suitable for beginning and experienced meditators.

Tues. Sept. 29th: “Spaces of Contemplation”: Prof. Caitie Finlayson, UMW Dept. of Geography, ITCC 307, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

This presentation explores the geography of spaces of contemplation throughout history and how geographers study these unique sites. It also demonstrates how individuals might become more attuned to their own spaces of contemplation and what makes these sites inspire mindfulness.

Thurs. Oct. 1: Mindfulness Yoga on Ball Circle: Bill Brooks, Manse Fields Mindfulness, Ball Circle, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Looking for a way to re-energize as the weekend nears? Join us on Ball Circle for a mindful yoga practice under the open sky. Bringing a quality of mindfulness, present moment awareness, to the practice of yoga unifies and enriches our experience of body, breath and mind. And it feels good too! This event is open to those new to yoga, and to those experienced. Bring your yoga mat if you have one. Mats will be available at the event if you don’t.

Thurs. Oct. 1: Flourishing in the Creative Process: A Workshop: Kris Iden, local artist, Melchers 202, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Can learning be transformed into one giant, on-going art project, infused with ‘the pleasure of finding things out’ (R. Feynman) as its central activity? Come explore this essential question in an interactive, hands-on workshop that offers experiences for cultivating greater present-moment awareness, objectivity, curiosity and humor through an acquaintance with the creative process – not just for art department students & faculty – everyone welcome!

Fri. Oct. 2: Contemplative Cross-training for Improved Concentration, Emotional Balance, and Compassion: A Meditation Workshop, Dr. Emily Wolf and Dr. Miles Neale, Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, 412 Lee Hall, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Enter the mental gym and sample a variety of meditative techniques prescribed to cross-train various psychological skills. Through brief guided meditations and interactive discussions, participants will learn three distinct techniques that will help improve performance and quality of life: concentration meditation develops mental focus and clarity, embodied mindfulness helps regulate emotions and increases distress tolerance, and compassion meditation deepens empathy and enhances social-stress resilience.

Fri. Oct. 2: Keynote Lecture: Mindfulness Meditation: From Buddhist Origins to Clinical Applications, Dr. Miles Neale, Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, 412 Lee Hall, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Originating in Indian Buddhism 2500 years ago and applied in the pursuit of enlightenment, mindfulness meditation is now increasingly popular in Western mainstream culture. After several decades of rigorous scientific research, it has been secularized and successfully adapted for use within clinical, therapeutic, educational, creative, and corporate contexts. This lecture introduces the long history and traditional intent of mindfulness, then surveys the active ingredients and psychological mechanisms that make it so effective in such diverse fields today. A special focus will be the integration of mindfulness practices into psychotherapy for the alleviation of depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health issues.
For more information, go to: or contact Prof. Angela Pitts,, (540) 654-1338

Sponsors of UMW Mindfulness Week include: UMW Departments of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, Art and Art History, Office of Student Life, Campus Recreation

Classical Association, Oct. 16-18

The University of Mary Washington will co-host the 94th anniversary meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the Southern Section, from Thursday, Oct. 16 to Saturday, Oct. 18. The event will be co-hosted alongside the National Latin Exam.

Friday’s afternoon presentations will take place on the UMW campus in Lee and Trinkle Halls, followed by a reception in the Trinkle Hall rotunda. Both events are free and open to the public.

The rest of the conference will be held at the Hospitality House Hotel and Conference Center in Central Park and will feature presentations and papers on Greek history and culture by national classicists. UMW faculty members Olga R. Arans, JeanAnn Dabb, Liane Houghtalin, Joseph Romero and Angela Pitts and David Ambuel, current UMW student Julie Gavin and UMW alumna Katherine DeCecco are among those presenting work during the anniversary conference.

See for more information.