Steve Reece, Professor of Classics
(has taught at St. Olaf since 1994)
On sabbatical during the 2014-2015 academic year
Office: Tomson Hall 347
Office telephone: 507-786-3378
B.A., M.A. (Classics), University of Hawaii, 1982, 1984
Ph.D. (Classics), University of California-Los Angeles, 1990
Steve Reece grew up in the town of Niigata on the west coast of Northern Japan. He taught at UCLA, Texas A&M University, and Vanderbilt University (Mellon Fellow) before coming to St. Olaf. He has published a wide variety of articles and book chapters on Homeric studies, New Testament studies, comparative oral traditions, historical linguistics, and pedagogy; he is also the author of a book about the rituals of ancient Greek hospitality entitled The Stranger’s Welcome: Oral Theory and the Aesthetics of the Homeric Hospitality Scene (University of Michigan Press). He recently completed a monograph on early Greek etymology entitled Homer’s Winged Words: Junctural Metanalysis in Homer in the Light of Oral-Formulaic Theory (E.J. Brill Press), for which he received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship; he is now engaged in a project on allusions to classical literature in the letters of Paul, for which he received a FaCE grant through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.
Reece has done research at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Lord Fellowship), the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri (NEH Fellowship), the American Academy in Rome (Fulbright Fellowship), and the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. He has lectured broadly, is called on frequently to act as referee for professional journals and university presses, and has been a consultant for IBM, E.J. Brill Press, and the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition. He has also chaired the St. Olaf Department of Classics for two years and served a term as President of the Classical Association of Minnesota. In the summer of 2010 he participated in the archaeological excavations at Tel Megiddo in northern Israel (see photo at right for proof).
In his spare time Reece is a hopeful fisherman, a “wannabee” basketball player, and an indolent bike-rider. Besides being able to speak Japanese with a Tennessee accent, his greatest claims to fame are having climbed a dozen active volcanoes and having served as a consultant for the Hollywood production of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures. He is married to Rhonda, Minister of Music at Bethel Lutheran Church in Northfield; they have a son Taylor, married to Kayli, and a daughter Hannah.
Courses in 2014-2015: None (on sabbatical)