I am pleased to report that our keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Dr. Loren J. “Jay” Samons II, Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University. Dr. Samons’ main research interests have revolved around the history and literature of 6th-5th century Athens, especially relating to democracy and empire (see his faculty website here). His book, What’s Wrong with Democracy? From Athenian Practice to American Worship (University of California Press, 2004), is especially interesting to me as an attempt to relate his interests in ancient history to contemporary American culture; the book has been widely acknowledged as both thought-provoking and important by reviewers, not all of whom agree with his conclusions (see the UC Press website for the book here). Dr. Samons’ most recently published book is Pericles and the Conquest of History: A Political Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016). This should be a very interesting conference!