Dr Dawn LaValleBack to People

Department: Classics
College appointment: Fellow by Examination
Phone: (01865) 276075


Dawn LaValle received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 2005, concentrating in Classics as well as Fundamentals: Issues and Texts, followed by an M.A. in Early Christian Studies at the University of Notre Dame (2007). She completed her Ph.D. in Classics at Princeton in the spring of 2015, in the course of which she spent one year as a visiting student at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.


At Princeton, Dawn taught Latin at every level, as well as Classical Mythology and the World of Late Antiquity. At Oxford, she is currently teaching “Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome”, as well as a variety of Greek language courses.


Dawn works on the Greek literature of the Imperial period, and especially on the conversation between Christian and non-Christian texts. She completed her dissertation on Methodius of Olympus’ Symposium, a 3rd century AD dialogue whose interlocutors are ten Christian virgins participating in a rhetorical competition about chastity.  The dissertation investigates how Methodius interacts with various genres in order to put forth a new argument about the way that Christians should orient themselves in time. In her next research project “The Physiology of the Spiritual Body: Metaphors of Semen, Blood and Milk in Early Christian Literature,” Dawn will be looking into the ways that Imperial writers embed medical details into their literary works for rhetorical purposes.


Books, Articles and Chapters

Co-Editor, Hypatia of Alexandria: Her Context and Legacy (contracted with Mohr Siebeck, expected publication in 2017)

“Divine Breastfeeding: Milk, Blood and Pneuma in Clement of Alexandria’s Paedagogus”

(Journal of Late Antiquity 8.2, Fall 2015, 322-336)

“Feasting at the End: The Eschatological Symposia of Methodius of Olympus and Julian the Apostate” (Studia Patristica, forthcoming 2017)

“Coming Late to the Table: Methodius in the Context of Sympotic Literary Development” in

Methodius von Olympus: Forschungsstand und –perspecktiven ed. K. Bracht (forthcoming, de Gruyter, October 2017)

“Dialoging with the Enemy: Competition and Resistance in Imperial Dialogues” in a volume on Resistance in the Greco-Roman World, ed. by Jas’ Elsner and Daniel Jolowicz (OUP, in progress)


Ancient Education and Early Christianity ed. Matthew Ryan Hauge and Andrew W. Pitts (Bloomsbury T&T Clark 2016). For The Classical Review, 67.1 (April 2017)

Formes et Genres du Dialogue Antique ed. Sandrine Dubel and Sophie Gotteland (Bordeaux: Ausonius

Éditions, 2015). For Bryn Mawr Classical Review (publ. Oct. 2015)