Sheena Finnigan


Advisor: Marc Kleijwegt

Sheena Finnigan


I am interested in exploring how literature, material culture and Roman medical history can be used simultaneously to create a nuanced and robust interpretation of the nature of childbirth and child-rearing in Rome. More broadly, I also seek to contribute to the larger conversation about the lives of women and children in Roman culture as well as the growing field of gender studies in the ancient world.

My research emphasizes the lives of ordinary people from the Roman period. I focus specifically on motherhood and the lives of women and children. Working to understand the beliefs, practices, thinking, and everyday lives of ancient people contextualizes the course of history and our own cultural environment. I use a number of approaches and combine historical research with sociological, anthropological, and art historical methods to achieve a balanced and multi-faceted interpretation.


A.M., University of Chicago – Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), 2007
B.A., Wisconsin Lutheran College – History and Theology, 2006


  • European History

MA Title

  • “Religious Authority in the Roman Empire: A Case Study of Two Emperors”

Working Dissertation Title:

  • “New Approaches to Motherhood in Rome, 100 BC- 200 AD.”

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Ancient Historians
  • North American Patristics Society
  • Society for Classical Studies
  • Archaeological Institute of America
  • American Historical Association

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • World History
  • European History I and II
  • Classical Greece
  • Rome and Its Empire
  • Medieval History
  • Plagues, Wars, and Other Calamities: Europe 1300-1750
  • Islam and the Middle East
  • Women in History
  • Chinese History
  • Introduction to Sociology