The HWS community will welcome Melvin Hill Visiting Professor Shelley Haley for a week-long campus visit Monday, March 24 through March 28, culminating with a public lecture, “Against All Odds: Black American Women Classicists in the Nineteenth Century.” Haley’s lecture will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26 in Albright Auditorium.
Hosted by the Classics Department, her visit is made possible through funding from the Provost’s Office. During her stay, Haley will visit classes in history, women’s studies, art history and classics to facilitate and enrich classroom discussions.
Haley has been a member of the Hamilton College faculty since 1989 as a classics and Africana studies professor. Haley’s academic interests lie at the intersections between Africana studies, women’s studies and classical literature and history.
Also an expert on Cleopatra, Haley has appeared on the BBC’s “TimeWatch” segment on Cleopatra, and was interviewed for The Learning Channel’s series, “Rome: Power & Glory.” She has contributed to the “African American Women’s Writers Series, 1910-1940” and has also been published by classical journals like Historia, Classical World and Classica et Mediaevalia. Haley has been a foreign research fellow in South Africa, where she lectured on classics in 1999.
In addition to her research in classics, Haley has been an advocate for increasing the representation of students of color in classes such as Latin, ancient Greek, or other classical topics. She has lectured both nationally and internationally on the role of classical studies in the lives of 19th century black women, which will be a focus of her lectures at HWS.
Named for Melvin Hill, a greatly respected English Professor at the Colleges, the Visiting Professorship was started in 1973 to foster the exchange of ideas on campus with scholars and teachers from other institutions. The initial purpose was to expose students and faculty members to a variety of viewpoints within the humanities; to share research, methodologies, and ideas across the campus; and to interact with recognized scholars in the field.
This semester, the endowment will continue to support seven week-long visiting professors in various disciplines in the humanities. While on campus, they will visit and interact with students and faculty in different departments and give a campus talk or presentation to the community.
“Our hopes are that these will be engaging opportunities for the campus to interact with important thinkers and scholars in their respective fields and that the visiting professors will build real connections with our students, faculty, and campus,” says Associate Dean of Faculty DeWayne Lucas.
Previous Melvin Hill Visiting Professor Melissa Britt completed her residency during the first week of March and led several open dance classes and workshops as well as adding perspectives on the social justice component of urban dance during her many visits to a variety of classes on campus. In addition, Former U.S. Ambassador Eric Benjaminson, who has 32 years of experience as an American diplomat, also served as a Melvin Hill Visiting Professor concurrent to Britt’s visit.