Jenifer Neils, the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History and Classics at Case Western Reserve University, has been elected to a four-year term as chair of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), beginning June 2012. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is the preeminent foreign study center in Greece for classics and archaeology. It trains young scholars, sponsors archaeological fieldwork, provides library resources for scholarly work, and disseminates research through its extensive publication program. Founded in 1881, its first student, Harold North Fowler, went on to become a professor of classics at Western Reserve University.
Neils, whose research focuses on the art and archaeology of Greece and ancient Athens in particular, has had a long association with the American School. She first attended its summer school in 1970 and directed the summer session in 1994. In 1999 she was the Whitehead Visiting Professor at the School, and in 2009, she held an NEH grant under its auspices. She has participated in archaeological excavations in northern Greece, and has written extensively on the Parthenon and its sculptures.
Neils organized two major international exhibitions on Greek art: Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens (1992) and Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (2003). She has recently published two books for the British Museum: The British Museum Concise Introduction to Ancient Greece (2008) and Women in the Ancient World (2011).
The selection committee noted her qualifications for the position: “Those we consulted know her as a very capable, deft and experienced administrator, well acquainted with the School’s administration and a productive scholar.”