Jennifer A. Rea
Areas of Interest/Research
Professor Jennifer A. Rea’s research explores the intersections between ancient Rome and modern science fiction and fantasy. Her love of the classics began when she was five years old and her parents took her to visit the Colosseum in Rome. And when her father took her to see the real live wolf that used to be on display on the Capitoline hill, she decided to study Latin so she could learn more about Rome’s origins.
Her first book, Legendary Rome, explored the Roman poets’ reinvention of Rome’s legendary foundations (the story of Romulus and Remus) in post-civil war Augustan Rome. Her most recent book, Perpetua’s Journey: Faith, Gender and Power in the Roman Empire, is a graphic history (Oxford University Press, 2018). Perpetua’s Journey challenges critical assumptions about gender roles, legal authority and individual rights and freedoms in Roman Africa during the reign of the emperor Septimius Severus.
She is the recipient of an NEH stipend to attend the seminar on Roman Religion and the Ursula K. Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship. Other current research projects include, Empire without End: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Vergil, which examines why Vergil’s violent foundation story remains relevant in modern science fiction and fantasy, a book chapter comparing Golden Age themes in Vergil’s Aeneid and Joss Whedon’s Serenity and an article comparing the martyrdom of St. Perpetua to the death of NASA’s Teacher in Space, Christa McAuliffe.
Professor Rea’s most popular undergraduate courses include Classics and Science Fiction, Heroes, Gods and Monsters, and Legendary Rome.
Phone: (352) 392-2075
Office: 142 DAU