Location: Bowdoin / Catherine K. Baker


Catherine K. Baker

Visiting Instructor in Classics 

Contact Information


Sills Hall - 117A

Teaching this semester

CLAS 2224. City and Country in Roman Culture

We are all now quite familiar with the way in which the American political landscape has been painted (by the pundits at least) in two contrasting colors: Blue and Red. These “states of mind” have become strongly associated with particular spatial differences as well: Urban and Rural, respectively. Examines the various ways in which Roman culture dealt with a similar divide at different times in its history. Explores the manner in which “urban” and “rural” are represented in Roman literature and visual arts, and how and why these representations changed over time, as well as the realities and disparities of urban and rural material culture. Studies the city and the country in sources as varied as Roman painting, sculpture, architecture, and archaeology, and in Roman authors such as Varro, Vergil, Horace, Pliny and Juvenal. Modern authors will also be utilized as points of comparison. Analyzes how attitudes towards class, status, gender and ethnicity have historically manifested themselves in location, movement, consumption and production. One of the main goals of the course is to challenge our modern urban vs. rural polarity by looking at a similar phenomenon within the context of Roman history.

LATN 1101. Elementary Latin I

A thorough presentation of the elements of Latin grammar. Emphasis is placed on achieving a reading proficiency.

Catherine Baker - Bowdoin College

Catherine K. Baker received her B.A in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology from Brandeis University, an M.A. in the History of Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati, where she is completing her Ph.D.  Catherine’s dissertation explores Roman colonization in the Central Apennine region of Italy from the 4th to the 2nd centuries BCE and examines the material interactions between colonists and existing local populations like the Samnites.  More broadly, Catherine’s research encompasses the intersection of colonization, identity, and exchange in the ancient world.  She is particularly interested in the role that objects, such as coins and pottery, play in shaping communities and identities, and in forging new connections across cultural boundaries. 

Catherine has taught at the University of Cincinnati and at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.  Since 2009, she has excavated at Pompeii as part of the University of Cincinnati’s Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia, and she is currently involved with the publication of the project’s small finds.  Catherine also serves as the pottery specialist for the Contrada Agnese Project of the American Excavations at Morgantina.