Joseph Portanova

Portanova bXw

Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies

Ph.D, Columbia University

Course(s) Taught: Social Foundations I, II & III, Global Topics: First Encounters & Their Legacies: Collisions, Continuities, and Global Re-Imaginings

Teaching Statement: My research interests include resistance to Hellenism and Roman rule, as well as the policing of same-sex desire. My studies in Byzantine and Hellenistic history have been interdisciplniary: this approach extends to my classes, where students supplement literary texts with visual and other materials. For example, in classes introducing the slave narratives, students attempt to identify slavery in images from Greece, Rome, China, Japan, and the Americas--in the process examining their definitions and assumptions. Trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine supplement the readings and focus on contacts between cultures, while a walking tour of Greenwich Village illustrates sites connected with GLBTQ history. We also use objects from the periods studied--students examine a book from 1518 to see the importance of printing, or coins as evidence of Greek and Roman political propaganda. Classes involve close analysis of the texts and discussion. My goal is to inspire students to read carefully and critically, engaging with the sources not only as authorities to learn from but as individuals to converse with and challenge--and then apply these critical and analytical faculties to their own societies and lives.


 Portanova and students at The Stonewall Inn.
 Portanova and students on a walking tour of Greenwich Village.

Updated on 02/22/2016