Laura Samponaro

L. Samponaro

Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies

Ph.D., Columbia University,Classics

M.Phil. Columbia University, Classics

M.A. Columbia University, Classics

B.A. Wellesley College, Latin and Classical Civilization

Areas of Interest: Ancient Rhetoric and Political Thought; Roman Republican History and Literature; Classical Reception

Course(s) Taught: Social Foundations I, II, and III


    Liberal Studies Research Challenge Award, NYU
    President's Fellowship, Columbia University

Teaching Statement:

As a teacher who studies classical rhetoric, I foster in my students an attitude of critical engagement towards texts and ideas. I treat substance and style as unified rather than separate entities, and my students examine not only what a particular argument is but also how that argument is presented. I encourage students to construct their own logical arguments and to present these arguments persuasively both in speech and in writing; being able to think independently and to express one’s thoughts coherently and convincingly are primary pedagogical aims of my courses. Whether it be a spirited dispute about the validity of Edmund Burke’s patriotic admonition that a country ought to be made lovely in order to be loved or a conversation about why there are duties but no rights in the ancient world, my core curriculum classes not only challenge students to examine their beliefs and their own conceptions of self but also create a dialogue between the students themselves in which they share different viewpoints respectfully. If never knowing what came before you is forever remaining a child, as Cicero once noted, then teaching the past and relating it to the present ensures that my students will meet current events and issues with a critical eye as they become active participants in their own communities.

Affiliations: Department of Classics, NYU


Updated on 02/22/2016