Dan-el Padilla Peralta

Classics and Latino Studies
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Dominican by birth and New Yorker by upbringing, Professor Padilla Peralta "tricked [him]self into writing four junior papers and two senior theses" en route to graduating summa cum laude from Princeton (he was a Rockyite!) in Classics with a certificate in Public and International Affairs (2006; Latin Salutatory). He held the Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship to read for the M.Phil. in Greek and Roman History at Oxford (2008); the next stop was a Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford (2014), generously supported by the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship. After a two-year postdoctoral stint at Columbia’s Society of Fellows, he returned to Princeton. In addition to his appointment in Classics, he is affiliated with the Program in Latino Studies. His core research and teaching focus is the Roman Republic and early Empire, and the common thread in his work is an enduring concern with patterns of cultural and intellectual exchange; an interest in new approaches that can better illuminate those patterns; and an ecumenical attitude to the many different kinds of ancient evidence available to us. He is also working on projects and teaching that examine conceptions and practices of citizenship across time, and in 2015 published a memoir on the intersection of his migratory subjectivity and Dominican identity with his formation as a classicist (Undocumented: A Dominican boy’s odyssey from a homeless shelter to the Ivy League: Penguin Press); I’ve since written shorter pieces for The Guardian, MatterVoxand the NYT. This writing is motivated by the sense that writing and teaching have a vital role to play in the pursuit of social justice (he also works with the Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton), and by the strong conviction that classics and classicists should be allies and champions for black and brown folk. He loves nothing more than to proselytize for classics and the humanities.