Emily McDermott came to UMass Boston in 1974, with a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a
PhD in Classics from Yale. In her time at the University, she has taught over thirty-five
different undergraduate and graduate courses, including Core classes, First-Year
Seminars, Honors Seminars, and (most recently) online courses. As the first among her
colleagues to immerse herself in oral-Latin conventicula, she initiated the department’s
present seminal focus on application of second-language acquisition theory to the
teaching of Latin. Her publications center on joint specializations in Greek tragedy,
with particular focus on Euripides, and Augustan Latin poetry, especially Horace. Most
recently, she has turned her scholarly attention to Reception Studies, publishing
numerous articles on classical education through the centuries and on classical elements
in authors as diverse as Alexandre Dumas, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Louis de
Bernières, Ethan Canin, and Charles Frazier. 

Administratively, she has spent ten of her thirty-seven years on campus as Chair of the
Classics Department, five in the 1980’s as Assistant Chancellor under Robert A. Corrigan,
and seven first as Associate Dean, then as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies. From 2011 to
2014, she served as interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. 



Euripides’ Medea: the Incarnation of Disorder (1989)

Euripides' Medea, produced in the year that the Peloponnesian War began, presents the first in...




‘The Metal Face of the Age’: Hesiod, Virgil, and the Iron Age on Cold Mountain, International Journal of the Classical Tradition (2010)

A prominent theme in Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is that redemption from the brutality of...



Mr. Chipping and Mr. Hundert: Manliness, Media, and the Classical Education, Classical and Modern Literature (2009)

James Hilton’s genial portrayal of a Latin master in a turn-of-the-century British public school, Goodbye,...



Playing for His Side: Kipling’s ‘Regulus,’ Corporal Punishment, and Classical Education, International Journal of the Classical Tradition (2008)

Rudyard Kipling’s short story, “Regulus,” revolves around the flogging of a student who has let...



‘The Despair of his Tutor’: Latin as Socioeducational Marker in Les Trois Mousquetaires, International Journal of the Classical Tradition (2008)

A significant motif in Les Trois Mousquetaires is to communicate the four heroes’ differing natures...


Contributions to Books


Greek and Roman Elements in Horace's Lyric Program, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der Neueren Forschung (1981)

The vision of Horatian scholars into the nature of Horace's 'Odes' has for many years...