Meet the Provost

Emily McDermott, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Emily McDermott came to UMass Boston in 1974, with a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in Classics from Yale. In her time at the university, she has taught over 35 different undergraduate and graduate courses, including Latin and Greek language and literature classes, classical civilization classes, Core classes, First-Year Seminars, Honors Seminars, and (most recently) online courses. As the first among her colleagues to immerse herself in oral-Latin conventicula, she initiated the department’s present seminal focus on application of second-language acquisition theory to the teaching of Latin. Her publications center on joint specializations in Greek tragedy, with particular focus on Euripides, and Late Republican and Augustan Latin poetry, especially Catullus, Horace, and Virgil. Most recently, she has turned her scholarly attention to Reception Studies, publishing numerous articles on classical education through the centuries and on classical elements in authors as diverse as Alexandre Dumas, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Louis de Bernières, Ethan Canin, and Charles Frazier. Administratively, she has spent 10 of her more than 40 years on campus as Chair of the Classics Department; five in the 1980s as Assistant Chancellor under Robert A. Corrigan; seven first as Associate Dean, then as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies; three as Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; and three as Associate Provost and Dean of the Faculty. She assumed the role of Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in August 2017.


Book Chapter:

Emily A. McDermott, "Furor as Failed Pietas: Roman Poetic Constructions of Madness through the Time of Virgil,” in Helen Perdicoyianni-Paleologou, ed., The Concept of Madness from Homer to Byzantium: History and Aspects, Lexis Supplementa V, Hakkert Edition (2016): 191-244

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

Emily A. McDermott, “Ovid, Christians, and Celts in the Epilogue of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain,” Mississippi Quarterly, 64.1-2 (2011): 177-195

Emily A. McDermott, “‘The Metal Face of the Age’: Hesiod, Virgil, and the Iron Age on Cold Mountain,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 17:2 (June, 2010), 244-256

Emily A. McDermott, “Mr. Chipping and Mr. Hundert: Manliness, Media, and the Classical Education,” Classical and Modern Literature 28:2 (2009), 1-21

Emily A. McDermott, “The Despair of his Tutor: Latin as Socioeducational Marker in Les Trois Mousquetaires,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 15 (2008) 29-52

Emily A. McDermott, “Playing for His Side: Kipling’s ‘Regulus,’ Corporal Punishment, and Classical Education,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 15 (2008) 369-392




  • Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs