Two Classics Professors Win Esteemed National Awards

Professors Allison Emmerson and Mallory Monaco Caterine

“I constantly talk to my students about Tulane’s motto, Non sibi, sed suisNot for oneself, but for one’s own,” said Mallory Monaco Caterine, a professor in the Department of Classical Studies whose work focuses on leadership. This year, Professor Monaco Caterine was awarded the Outreach Prize from the Society of Classical Studies for her work developing enrichment programs for multiple New Orleans’ elementary schools.

Since 2016, Monaco Caterine (known to students as Professor MC) has coordinated after school programs at multiple local schools, such as Nyansa Classical Community, during which her students engage in service learning by teaching youth ages five to twelve Latin. Working across campus with the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT), Monaco Caterine’s students have also learned how to focus their educational materials on enhancing user experience and confronting barriers individuals face approaching language learning, while also making their lessons reusable for different volunteers at the elementary schools. As Monaco Caterine explains, “service-learning teaching takes a lot of effort beyond the classroom to cultivate community partnerships, and this award is a really big nudge to say this work is making an impact.”

Both Monaco Caterine and classics professor and Roman archeologist Allison Emmerson emphasize the importance of students applying their research and practice beyond the classroom. Emmerson’s work focuses on Roman cities and, in particular, the marginal parts of Roman cities—from the edges of cities to the marginalized individuals and activities that scholarship doesn’t often highlight. This year, Emmerson’s recent book delving into these aspects of cities, Life and Death in the Roman Suburb, won the James R. Wiseman Book Award, the highest distinction conferred on research in the field awarded by the premier professional organization for archaeology, the Archaeological Institute of America.

“Receiving the Wiseman Award was a huge surprise, and it is an incredible honor to be selected for the award this year,” said Emmerson. As Emmerson’s research on cities evolves, she looks forward to leading a new excavation in Pompeii, Italy, with a group of Tulane undergraduate and graduate students exploring marginalized elements of city life.

Brian Edwards, dean of the School of Liberal Arts, commended both Emmerson and Monaco Caterine. “These impressive awards from leading professional societies demonstrate the scholarly distinction and pedagogical innovation that Tulane classicists are known for,” he said. “As both Professor Emmerson and Monaco Caterine make clear in their work, the Ancient world continues to offer a wide array of lessons and approaches to understanding and living in the present. Their work shows the continuing vitality and value of the humanities for the leaders of tomorrow.”