Murray Lecture Series: "The Origins of African-American Scholarship in the Classics"

| March 17, 2003

The Robert J. Murray Lecture Series was held at Xavier University on Saturday, March 15. Professor Michele Valerie Ronnick spke on "The Origins of African-American Scholarship in the Classics." Ronnick is associate professor in the department of classics, Greek and Latin at Wayne State University. She has published widely in journals here and abroad and has won a number of professional awards for excellence in scholarship, teaching and service. Ronnick's research in the Classical Tradition led her to develop the new subfield, Classica Africana, which studies the influence of classics upon people of African descent. "The Origins of African-American Scholarship in the Classics" discussed the emergence of African-American classicists post Civil War. The most prominent of these classicists was William Sanders Scarborough, whose Greek textbook (1881) brought him instant fame. He was the first 'professional' classicist of his race. Scarborough's wide-ranging interests made him a pioneer of philological studies in general. The Robert J. Murray Lecture Series is named to honor Dr. Robert J. Murray, professor of classics (1960-1997), for his many contributions to Xavier University and the Honors Bachelor of Arts program. The Honors Bachelor of Arts program was established in 1948 by William Hetherington, S.J. in an effort to preserve the classical Jesuit liberal arts tradition. Honors A.B. students pursue the study of Latin, Greek and philosophy over four year, in addition to the rest of Xavier core curriculum. This lecture series carries on the spirit of humanities education presented by this program. Honors programs information may be found online at