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Alexandra L. Holbrook

  • Assistant Professor
    History Program

I’m Alexandra Holbrook, an adjunct instructor in the Department of History and Archaeology.  I’m from across Lake Erie, more or less, since I grew up and went to university in southern Ontario.  While finishing my undergraduate degree, I discovered I really enjoyed the opportunities I had to lead seminars or teach others about topics of interest to me, especially in the academic setting, so off I went to grad school to get the credentials that would allow me to keep doing that as a career.  Also, my father, older sister, twin brother, and husband are all academics, so it’s a family business! 

My training is in Classics – but not, as I so often have to tell people, Shakespeare or Mozart or Jane Austen (although they are great too).  The field of Classics focuses particularly on the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.  My specialty is in Roman social history – family, slavery, and gender in the historiography and literature of Republican and Imperial Rome.  I’ve enjoyed teaching Latin and a little Greek in the past, as well as broader courses in World History up to 1500 or so.  (I’ve even combined my love of community theatre with my interest in Classics, acting in university productions as Hecuba in The Trojan Women, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex and Lysistrata in Lysistrata.)

After getting my PhD, I was a part-time adjunct at the University of Texas-Pan American in the Rio Grande Valley region of deep-south Texas, where I taught world history, Roman history, and elementary Latin.  Last year, our family relocated to Western New York, where my spouse now teaches for SUNY-Fredonia.  I love being closer to Canada, and I really missed the variety of seasons – yes, even the winter – while I was in Texas.  I was so pleased to be able to start working at Gannon University this past spring, and hope to be able to continue to teach here for a long time.  Friendly staff, talented colleagues, and great students make this a fun place to work! 

I plan to do more travel and research, now that the small human born to us in Texas is a little older, and have aspirations to pick up some of my hobbies again – community theatre, playing piano and fiddle, and camping.

Courses Taught

  • At Gannon:
  • History Without Borders
  • Greek History
  • At McMaster and UTPA:
  • Civilizations through the Centuries
  • Roman History
  • Elementary Latin I and II
  • The Roman Family
  • History of Greece and Rome

Educational History

  • McMaster University, PhD in Classics, "Constructions of the Family in Livy's Ab Urbe Condita."  (2009)
  • McMaster University, M.A. in Classics (2003)
  • University of Guelph, B.A. in Classical Languages (2001)

Professional Experience

  • Adjunct Faculty, History, Gannon Unversity (Spring 2015-present)
  • Part-time Lecturer, History & Modern Languages, University of Texas-Pan American (2010-2014)
  • Sessional Instructor, Classics, McMaster University (2008-2009)



Professional Societies

  • Classical Association of Western New York
  • Classical Association of Canada


Conference presentations

  • Invited panellist, “Teaching Classical Languages via Untraditional Methods”, Classical Association of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, May 2015
  • “Impar coniunx: Attitudes Towards Intermarriage in Livy”, Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Waco, Texas, April 2014
  • “Two Weddings and a Funeral: The Marriages of Syphax, Sophoniba, and Massinissa in Livy’s History”, Classical Association of Canada Annual Conference, St. John’s, Newfoundland, May 2007
  • “The sacramentum in the late Republican Roman army”, Classical Association of Canada Annual Conference, Quebec City, Quebec, May 2004.