March 3, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Ralph J. Hexter, the president of Hampshire College and professor of classics and comparative literature, will speak on “Necessity and War ” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by The Nostoi Project at Hampshire College, Hexter’s talk is free and open to the public.

The Nostoi Project is a spring-semester event organized by Hampshire professor of epic drama and religion Robert. E. Meagher using ancient literature, particularly concerning the Trojan War, as a means for addressing the needs of today’s returning veterans. The project takes its name from the lost ancient Greek epic, “Nostoi,” meaning “the return home,” which recounts the Greek soldiers’ return from the Trojan War. Hexter will be among a list of many speakers, including veterans, a psychiatrist, a poet, military professionals, a journalist, an author and a playwright. Six documentaries dealing with veterans returning from war will also be shown, along with a play performed by Hampshire College students and an exhibit of Pulitzer Prize-winning photos of Iraq. Visit the The Nostoi Project Website.

Hexter holds Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees from Yale University, B.A. and M.A. degrees from Corpus Christi College, Oxford University and an A.B. degree from Harvard College. Prior to assuming the role of fifth president of Hampshire College, Hexter was executive dean of letters and science and dean of arts and humanities at the University of California, Berkeley and professor of classics and comparative literature and director of the graduate program in comparative literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Hexter’s works in medieval and ancient literature include Equivocal Oaths and Ordeals in Medieval Literature (1975); Ovid and Medieval Schooling: Studies in Medieval School Commentaries on Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, Epistulae ex Ponto and Epistulae Heroidum (1986) and A Guide to the Odyssey: A Commentary on the English Translation of Robert Fitzgerald (1993). He has been published widely, with articles on Vergil, Horace, Goethe, Verdi and a variety of topics in medieval Latin in journals such as Modern Language Notes, Helios, Classical Philology, Yale Journal of Criticism and the Cambridge Opera Journal.