A professor of ancient art history and a classical archaeologist, Jenifer Neils is an expert on the ancient Mediterranean. For the last five years she served as the first woman Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Previously she held the Elsie B. Smith Chair of Classics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and regularly taught courses on the art and archaeology of the ancient world from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity. She has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University. As a field archaeologist Professor Neils has participated in excavations in northern Italy and Greece, but notably Sicily (Morgantina), where she has spent years studying the imported pottery. She has also held prestigious fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the J. Paul Getty Research Center, and the Paul Mellon Center at Yale.
As a museum curator Professor Neils has organized three highly-acclaimed international loan exhibitions of Greek art, one dealing with the worship of Athena in Athens, one on childhood in antiquity, and most recently a show on horsemanship in ancient Athens (2021). She has also written over a dozen books ranging from the history of ceramics to the Parthenon. Her latest are The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Athens and HIPPOS: The Horse in Ancient Athens, as well as a children’s book entitled AVRA: An Amazing Greek Horse. During the 2011-12 academic year Professor Neils was the Joukowsky Lecturer for the AIA. An indefatigable lecturer and traveler, she has served as study leader for over a dozen trips to ancient sites throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Chair of Art History and Classics at Case Western Reserve University
October 3-15, 2023