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Stephen Fineberg


Stephen Fineberg

Szold Distinguished Service Professor of Classics

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Szold Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Classics

Stephen Fineberg

General Interests
"Alongside other scholarly pursuits, I am working on a book project that focuses on the god Dionysos in Athens. The theoretical approach is psychoanalytic and anthropological, and the evidence is drawn from both written and visual sources; these include Dionysos in Homer, Attic comedy and tragedy, and the Platonic Dialogues, as well as the evidence of the Attic painted pottery."

Years at Knox: 1976 to 2017

Ph.D., Classics, 1975, University of Texas at Austin.
M.A., Classics, 1971, University of Texas at Austin.
1969-1970, American School for Classical Studies at Athens.
B.A., 1964, St. John's College-Annapolis, Maryland.

Teaching Interests
Greek language, art and architecture and Greek and Roman origins of western thought.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors & Grants

  • Knox Faculty Research / Creative Work Grant: Socrates and Alcibiades in Plato's Symposium, 2016-2017.
  • Knox Faculty Research / Creative Work Grant: Dionysos in Athens, 2014.

"Theseus, Ariadne, and Dionysos: A King, a Cretan Princess, and the Agency of a God". Immediate work in progress. Like "Hephaestus on Foot in the Cerameicus," this work draws on literary as well as visual sources (the Attic vases) to explain, in anthropological and psychological terms, a core contradiction in a mythic narrative.

"Hephaestus on Foot in the Cerameicus." Transactions of the American Philological Association 139.2 (2009): 273-322.

"Blind Rage and Eccentric Vision in Iliad 6." Transactions of the American Philological Association 1999. A study of the god Dionysus in Homer's Iliad, where the god makes an unexpected cameo appearance as a child with the miraculous power to alter fundamentally two mortal combatants' way of seeing the war and one another.

"The Music of Thomas Jefferson's Greek." Classical Journal 1993.

"From improbus to impius; Jefferson and Buckingham's Epitaph." Eighteenth-Century Studies 1993.

"Reading eκwν, οuκ eκwν, and aeκων in Aeschylus" on the language of Aeschylaean tragedy. Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2009.

"The Future of Classics." Talk as part of panel at Illinois Classical Conference, Beloit College, November 2009.

"The Dionysian Logic of Aristophanes' Frogs." Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Tucson, Arizona, 2008.

"Plato's Alcibiades." Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2007.

"Socrates, Satyrs, and Plato's Symposium." Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 2002.

Campus & Community Involvement
Chair, Classics Department.
Campus Advisor to Off-Campus Programs (College Year in Athens, Newberry Library , and London-Florence).
Past Director of Off-Campus Program at the Newberry Library (Chicago).
Past Director of Off-Campus Program in Florence (Italy).
Visiting Professor Art History, University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana).
Visiting Senior Associate Member, American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

What Students Say
"Steve Fineberg epitomizes the liberal arts academic: down to earth, ever passionate about the Classics and his students, and always bringing the material to bear on current events in meaningful ways. Steve has taught me to see the lessons of the past as lessons for the future in daily life and the world at large. His enthusiasm is contagious, his knowledge encyclopedic. But rather than lord that knowledge over students--he insists he is merely a resource--he uses it to encourage students to reach their own conclusions, so that they might grow as intellectuals and humans. Steve is one of the select professors at Knox that everyone must take a course with in order to have a rounded education."
-Max Tegethoff, Creative Writing Major

"Steve cares about his students & regards them as equals. In class, he's fun and down-to-earth, but he pushes you to think critically & speak persuasively. He's one of those rare professors who genuinely loves teaching the intro-level courses just as much as the upper-level ones. That's how he can make even dusty topics like the subjunctive mood interesting and learn-able. What I love is how he's able to create a sense of community and respect, which allows us students to debate and discuss almost any topic that comes our way. Ultimately, Steve takes very seriously his job to educate a new generation of thinkers and doers - he's a great representative of a Knox professor."
-Sarah Kurian, Biochemistry Major, Vocal Performance Minor

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Printed on Friday, December 8, 2023