Faculty for 2016-2017
Chair of the Classics, Philosophy and Religion Department
P | 434-381-6172
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Classics, Philosophy and Religion Department
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar, VA 24595
Instructor of Classics
B.A., Classics | Swarthmore College, 1984
M.A., Classics | Yale University, 1985
Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
B.A., Greek; Latin; Archaeological Studies | Oberlin College, 2008
Ph.D., Classical Art and Archaeology | University of Michigan, 2015
Neville McFerrin’s work focuses on the interactions between power, gender and dress in ancient Rome and the Italian peninsula. By blending multidisciplinary theoretical perspectives from phenomenology to new materialisms to neurobiological models of perception with archaeological methodologies, she juxtaposes visual and material evidence with textual analysis to highlight the agency of traditionally marginalized groups and to consider individual constructions of power and personal prestige in the shifting political landscape of late Republican and early Imperial Rome.
Neville is an active field archaeologist and has excavated with multiple teams in Italy and Romania, including the Sangro Valley Project, the San Martino Archaeological Field School, the Gabii Project and the Porolissum Forum Project.
She is preparing a manuscript on the creation and maintenance of social hierarchies and personal prestige in Pompeii, exploring how new paradigms for the interpretation of jewelry and depictions of dress practices can illuminate social tensions and give a voice to a variety of social actors, ranging from women to slaves.
Her courses at Sweet Briar seek to help students engage with diverse perspectives by exploring the interplay between textual, visual and material culture in the ancient Mediterranean world. Through connecting with an array of past voices, and by providing the tools to enable the critical analysis of dominant narratives in both the past and the present, McFerrin aims to help students to assert their own agency and to hone their own voices.