I’m a Core Lecturer in Classics at Columbia, where I completed my Ph.D. in 2016. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in the history of rhetoric, ancient philosophy, and ancient education. More particularly, my dissertation explores one widespread notion of certainty in antiquity—where certainty is understood as a matter of consensus, not demonstrative truth—and this notion’s afterlife in Early Modern Italy. I did my undergraduate work in Classics at Harvard, and I’m originally from Grayling, Michigan.

During my graduate studies, I taught Contemporary Civilization, a survey of philosophical and political thought from antiquity to the modern era, and received the 2016 Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. I regularly teach with the Paideia Institute, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the study and appreciation of the classical humanities, both in New York and in Rome. Before I began my academic career, I taught English in an Arkansas public high school through Teach for America.

I’m co-editing Quasi Labor Intus, a volume on ambiguity in Latin literature, with Michael Fontaine (Cornell) and William Short (Exeter), and I serve as the Section Editor for Classics at the Open Library of Humanities, an open-access, peer-reviewed mega-journal for humanities scholarship. In addition to my academic work, I have also written for public-facing outlets including The Washington Post, Commonweal Magazine, and others.

During the 2016–2017 academic year, I worked in Munich as the SCS/NEH Fellow at the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, a 123-year-old international effort to compile a Latin dictionary from the language’s earliest sources up to the end of the sixth century. Although I spent most of my time researching words beginning with the letter R, I especially enjoyed writing the Thesaurus article for nidus (“nest”).

Get in touch by e-mailing me at the following address:

Creative Commons License

charlesmcnamara.com by Charles McNamara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Header Image from Cambridge, Harvard University, Houghton Library, MS Typ 0045, f. 17v.