Alexander Nikolaev joins the Department

nikolaev-smWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Alexander Nikolaev will join the department as Assistant Professor of Classical Studies as of July 2013. He completed his dissertation, “Historical Poetics and Language History: Studies in Archaic Greek Poetry,” at Harvard University in 2012.

Professor Nikolaev is both a classicist and a linguist, and he is most interested in where language and literature meet. As a historian of literature, he works on archaic Greek poetry (Homer, Hesiod, Sappho, etc.). As a linguist, he is primarily interested in Greek historical linguistics and etymology, but he has also done work on the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European and on the history of other Indo-European languages and language families, including Hittite, Sanskrit, Old Persian and Avestan, Old Irish, Tocharian and Balto-Slavic.

This fall, he will teach two undergraduate courses: CL 104, Greek and Latin Roots of the English Language, and CL 261, Intermediate Greek 1 (Prose).

CL 104 will look at the historical development of English with the focus on its Greek and Latin borrowings, including the vocabulary of medicine, law, and the humanities, and discuss the meaning of words which shape our perception of the world.  Through this course you will expand your knowledge of English vocabulary and understand the ways in which words and their history shape our perception of the world.

CL 261 is a reading of selections from Greek prose. Authors read may include Plato and Lysias, as well as selections from the New Testament.