Tom, a native of New York City, who has had a life-long passion for travel and exploration, is the Kenneth Curry Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee and the founding Director of the university’s Humanities Center. His areas of interest are anthropology of religions and historical linguistics.
Tom’s BA is from Manhattan College and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University. His Ph.D. studies were on Latin church histories and ancient Greek biography. Tom did post-doctoral work at Harvard University in the study of ancient manuscripts. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters LHD (honoris causa) from Manhattan College in 2008.
Tom has taught in the U.S. and Europe. He has received numerous fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the author of sixty essays and six books. His most recent a study of the conflict between the Roman state and early Christianity, The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity, for which he received the prestigious Modern Language Association Prize for best Scholarly Edition for 2013.
Tom has received the Alumni Outstanding Teaching Citation by the University of Tennessee, and the Alexander Prize in 2012, the most significant research and teaching award presented by the University.
Tom teaches every summer at Cambridge University which also allows him access to English and European archives. He has appeared on National Public Radio and local television. Tom is married and has a daughter. He has worked with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1991 and has loved every minute of it.