Jim Dobreff
Assistant Professor of Classics

James Dobreff is an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He holds MAs from Wayne State University and the University of Chicago, and PhD from the University of Lund. His latest book, published in Swedish, was a finalist the best non-fiction book for 2012 in the Augustpriset competition. He held the prestigious James Ford Bell Lecture in 2011 and has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Botanical Gardens of Paris. He has the rare distinction for a Latinist of having established the provenance of eighty insects from the 18th century in the collection of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. His interest in spoken Latin dates to his 1993 MA thesis on the pedagogical methods of Isaac Flagg. He currently runs a spoken Latin program for elementary students at UMass Boston, where he also teaches conversational Latin to graduate students and serves as co-director of the Conventiculum Bostoniense. Prof. Dobreff is a Latinist and historian with a research focus on Neo-Latin and scientific writings in Latin from the 14th to 19th centuries. His publications include works on 18th century natural history, Neo-Latin manuscripts, 17th century epistolography, plant and insect taxonomy. His historical critical edition of the naturalist travel journal Diarium Surinamicum is due out later this year as is his first article treating Copernicus’ only student, G.J. Rheticus.