Provost Steiner wins fellowship, plans research trip to Greece

BY STEVEN VIERA ’16, SHIRA KIPNEES ’15
Assistant News Editor, Staff Writer

Ann R. Steiner, provost and dean of the faculty, will be going on an extended research trip to Athens, Greece, as the result of a fellowship recently awarded to her by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). She will be working through the American School of Classical Studies in Athens to research the society and culture of ancient Greece.

According to Steiner, NEH has many different programs for scholars interested in post-doctoral work. Some of these fellowships are attached to particular research programs and institutions; in Steiner’s case, the fellowship is tied to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. “The American School of Classical Studies in Athens is granted from the National Endowments for the Humanities between two and four
fellowships,” Steiner said.

The application took about six weeks to complete and required Steiner to apply to become a member of the American School as well as filling out a separate application through the NEH. She demonstrated that her intended project — studying ancient pottery — would take advantage of the school’s library and pottery collections.

Furthermore, she had to show her project would be beneficial for the students of the American School. Steiner had help in preparing her application from her colleagues in the field, the Office of College Grants, and
others.

Steiner’s trip to Greece will begin in August 2013 and last until August 2014. In that time she plans on studying pottery found in the Athenian agora to determine its implications for ancient Greek society. Steiner will also complete a research report once her period of study concludes. “The pottery found inside of [the agora] is all sorted and cleaned in the storeroom and has never been studied comprehensively,” Steiner said.

“The fellowship compels me to spend five months studying this pottery, so what I will be doing is spend from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon studying this poetry and then afternoons and evenings I will do research in the library about the pottery.”

Steiner sees a number of links between ancient Greece and contemporary Western Society.

“The literature of ancient Greece speaks to every generation despite being 2,000 years old,” she said. “I also think even though [America’s] republic and democracy is founded on the Roman republic more so than the Greek democracy, first western democracy is an eternal source where we can learn about its mistakes and its successes.”

Ancient Greece has long been a passion for Steiner, who began studying the civilization during her first year of college. In fact, Steiner transferred from Macalester College to Bryn Mawr College so she could pursue a degree in archaeology. She has been a classical scholar ever since, and her résumé includes a number of awards, research trips, and publications in the field of classical studies.

Steiner has been a member of F&M’s faculty since 1981 and has served as provost and dean of the faculty for about seven years. She recently decided to step down as provost and return to teaching full-time. She sees her upcoming trip as an excellent opportunity to begin the next chapter of her career.

However, she would also like to obtain a position as don of a college house at some point in the future.

“I love being with students in other places outside of class, and the college houses offer that opportunity,” Steiner said. “It feels like I’m going on to another adventure.”

Questions? Email Steven at sviera@fandm.edu or Shira at skipnees@fandm.edu.

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