My Academics

I was, in a certain sense, born into academia, and so I've been told that my trajectory from childhood nerd to a PhD program at Harvard is not in the least surprising.  I have always been fascinated by history, and I can remember my father telling me stories about the Battle of Midway when I was a child. I remember even more vividly the cruel thought experiments my mother the philosopher would subject me too--all of which became worth it when, one day, she had no response except laughter to my insistence that she was only dreaming my room was messy.

henry apse

I have two main focuses in my studies: history, especially the archeology of the Late Antique Mediterranean, and philosophy.  I majored in History and Philosophy at the University of Chicago, and became enamoured with the idea (that I picked up from exposure to Arnold Davidson and through him Pierre Hadot) that the truly philosphical life was lived outside the philosophy department.  So, while I have taken time to continue my philosophical readings, and to teach courses on philosophy to high school students on the South Side of Chicago, my main focus has been on history.

I have spend parts of five summers excavating in Italy, Israel, and Spain, participating in both terrestrial excavations (especially at the city of Sanisera in Menorca) and underwater surveys for Roman shipwrecks.  The research that I did at Sanisera in 2010 became the basis for my thesis, "Occupy Menorca: The Balearic Islands, Trade, and the Vandal Dream of a Maritime Empire in the Ruins of Rome."  The paper won the Emil Karafiol Prize in History at the University of Chicago in 2012 (when I graduated with honors), and I presented a version of it at a conference at Cornell in 2013.

In Fall 2013 I began the Post-Bacc Program in Classics at UCLA, working to improve my Latin and Greek in order to further pursue a career in Roman History and late antique archeology. I worked with a fantastic group of scholars including Amy Richlin, Jessica Goldberg, and many others, including Ra'anan Boustan, whose research assistant I was for two wonderful years.

In Fall 2015, I began a PhD in History at Harvard University, working on the social and economic history of the late antique world under Professor Michael McCormick. As I begin this new adventure, I look forward to lots of reading and lots of fun.

I am proficient in historical research and writing, the use of the Harris Matrix, identification and classification of later Roman fine ware and amphora, and am a certified Advanced SCUBA Diver with experience in underwater survey.  I speak fluent Spanish and have a reading knowledge of French, Italian Latin, and German (but it's a little rusty).  

Oh, and this one time I wrote a great paper called "Straight off the Streets of Chaos and No Pity: Dr. Dre as Ubermensch" but the North American Neitzche Society rejected it.  I'm still not sure why...

© Henry Gruber 2013