Timothy Doran

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College of Natural & Social Sciences
Department of History
Office Location: KH A4025
Email: tdoran2@calstatela.edu
I am Assistant Professor of History here at Cal State Los Angeles. I teach Ancient History (Greek, Roman, Near Eastern) as well as Big History (and occasionally World History to 1500 AD).

I received my PhD at Berkeley in 2011. That is also where I completed my BA and MA. My dissertation was entitled "Demographic Fluctuation and Institutional Response in Sparta" (Supervisors: Emily Mackil, Erich Gruen, Walter Scheidel, and Kenneth Wachter).

I am a fully trained Classicist (Greco-Roman specialist) and enjoy, and have taught, Ancient Greek, Latin, and Greco-Roman history, literature, religion, art, and philosophy. My specialty up until and including the present is Ancient Sparta. 


Lately I've found great interest and pleasure in teaching and studying the Ancient Near East and Big History. I am learning Egyptian hieroglyphs slowly on my own, which is a lot of fun. 

Selected publications: "Eugenic Ideology in the Hellenistic Spartan Reforms." Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 66, 2017, 258-280.  This article argues that an old Spartan eugenic cultural ideology influenced the reforms of the Hellenistic kings of Sparta Agis IV and Kleomenes III in the third century BC. It is based upon half of one chapter of my dissertation. 


Biographical Information: I did not go to college right after high school, but worked full-time in an organic grocery store in San Francisco. I eventually began going to junior college because there were not enough people to talk to about history and literature at that store. So I was a "returning student" taking classes that would amuse me (Italian, Novel-Writing, Sociology, 20th Century Art, etc.) and had no idea that I would earn a PhD and become a professor. I transferred from junior college to Berkeley when I was 30: thus I was 10 years older than the other juniors. I majored in History, with a concentration on ancient history, and also took lots and lots of Latin and Ancient Greek language courses. I then applied for Berkeley's "Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology" program, was accepted, and spent 2 years working on the MA, and then 6 more (which was quite standard) working on the PhD (the last two years were occupied with writing the dissertation). I met many remarkable professors there, and keep in touch with them. I then taught at Berkeley as an adjunct for one year, and then was hired for a full-time tenure-track position at Cal State L.A. 

My favorite students tend to be the ones who are deeply intellectually curious -- who think that the world is a genuinely interesting and wonderfully strange place, and that they are lucky to be alive -- and who work hard, and are civil and amusing. I have met many such students here. It has been a great pleasure. I am particularly proud to see my students grow intellectually. 


My "hobby" is vintage, primarily the 1910s-1920s through the Second World War, including vintage clothing up to about 1945 and antiques and things like that. My house is museum-like and is full of antique telephones, strange artifacts, reproduction ancient Egyptian statuary, and odd and funny old things of suchlike nature. Over the years, I have collected about 200 neckties from the 1930s and 1940s. I enjoy travel (up to a point) and have been to Poland five times, Greece twice, and a few other countries including Turkey, Italy, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, England, France, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada.

Classes taught (all at Cal State L.A. unless otherwise noted)

1.) Upper-division advanced undergrad courses: 

Ancient Near East
Ancient Greece (2700 BC - circa 371 BC)
Age of Alexander (Circa 371 BC - 30 BC)
Early Rome
Roman Empire
Greek and Roman Religions
Classical Civilization and the Modern World
Big History: from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the Universe

2.) Lower Division: 

World History to 1500 AD
Beginning Greek (tutorial)
Latin 1 (tutorial)
Latin 1 (at Berkeley)
Latin 2 (at Berkeley)

3.) Graduate seminars:
Methods, Sources, and Problems in the Study of Greek and Roman Civilizations
Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Sparta and Ancient Slavery
Ancient Mediterranean Economies

 

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