The Lure of the Arena
Dr. Garrett G. Fagan
Thursday October 13, date
Free and open to the public
Garrett G. Fagan is associate professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and History at Pennsylvania State University. A native of Dublin, Ireland, he received his B.A. (Mod. Hons.) and M.Litt. degrees at Trinity College, Dublin, and his Ph.D. at McMaster University, Canada. His many professional honors include the Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of British Columbia and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Cologne.
Dr. Fagan’s main research interests lie in Roman history and archaeology. He has two published monographs—Bathing in Public in the Roman World (1999) and The Lure of the Arena (2011)—and he edited or coauthored three additional books, as well as numerous scholarly articles and chapters in larger volumes.
Fagan is also interested in the phenom¬enon of pseudoarchaeology, which is characterized by fringe theories of human history based on misinterpretation of archaeological data. As a leader in the study of pseudoarchaeology he published several articles, organized conference panels and edited one book Archaeological Fantasies (2006). Fagan’s expertise earned him appearances on the PBS science series Nova and the History Channel. He also received the honor of producing three courses with The Teaching Company on the topics of the History of Ancient Rome, Emperors of Rome, and Great Battles of the Ancient World.
For the 2011 Davis Lecture, Fagan will draw from his latest book, The Lure of the Arena, to explore the psychological processes at work among the arena crowd and offer a new perspective on the infamous Roman games.
About The J. Roderick Davis Lectures
J. Roderick Davis is a 1958 graduate of Samford University (then Howard College). After graduation, he received advanced degrees in English and theology from Boston, Yale, and Columbia universities, followed by more than two decades of teaching in universities in New Jersey and New York. In 1990, he was chosen by his alma mater to come back as the Dean of Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences. In his eleven years in that office, he helped enlarge the College faculty by thirty percent, created individual departments in Geography, Political Science, Philosophy, and Classics, and directed the streamlining and re-focusing of the university’s nationally-recognized core curriculum.
When Dean Davis retired from his office in 2001, his colleagues decided to honor him by establishing a lecture series in his name that would bring to campus recognized scholars and activists in areas of interest to students in the Arts and Sciences.
Previous Davis Lecturers and topics include:
2010 - Dr. Kevin Davies, British science writer and editor, "The $1,000 Genome: The Pros and Cons of Reading Your DNA"
2009 - Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, An officer of the Congressional National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation, "The Age of Lincoln"
2008 - Eugene Robinson, Journalist and Commentator for the Washington Post and MSNBC, "Election 2008: The Highest Stakes"
2007 - Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, the Aspen Institute, Author, Einstein: His Life and Universe: "Einstein's Creativity"
2006 – Dr. Juan Hernandez, President, Organization for Hispanic Advancement: “The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants?”
2005 – Dr. Fawaz A. Gerges, Professor of International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College: “The Far Enemy: How and Why Jihad Went Global”
2004 – Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School: “Democracy and Human Dignity”
2003 – Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, Director of the National Cancer Institute: “The Future of Cancer: Progress with a Purpose”
2002 – Susan Eisenhower, President of the Eisenhower Institute: “Leadership in Conflict”
The Wright Center (building no. 6 on this map) is located on Montague Drive on the southern side of Samford University's campus. When entering campus from the main Samford entrance, off of Lakeshore Drive, take a left onto Montague Drive.