Biography

Sarah VealeSarah Veale is an award-winning doctoral researcher at York University’s Department of History, where she works on cultural innovation in the Roman Empire.

A former journalist, Sarah holds a Master’s of Arts degree from the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion. Her MA thesis, “The Public Lives of Private Cults: Dionysiac Associations in the Roman East,” challenged dominant models of religion in the Roman world through the lens of Dionysiac cult. This project was selected for a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship, which is granted to “high-calibre scholars” by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Her bachelor’s degree (hons.) was completed at York University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Religious Studies and Classical Studies (double major). Both her graduate and undergraduate work have received numerous awards.

With expertise in Ancient Greek, Latin, and German, Sarah has published several articles and book reviews in peer reviewed academic journals. Her article on Iamblichan theurgy, Orientalism in Iamblichus’ The Mysteries, was published in The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies). Her work on cursing rituals at the sanctuary of Magna Mater and Isis in Mainz (Germany) was recently published in the journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft (University of Pennsylvania Press). Sarah’s work, while diverse, highlights the utility of religion as a scholarly lens to understand individual behaviours and preferences in antiquity.

In addition to regularly presenting at academic conferences, she is co-director (with Dylan M. Burns) of the Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity, an ESSWE thematic network which connects scholars of ancient esotericism with innovations and opportunities in the field.

A proud native of Chicago, Sarah roots for the White Sox and whoever is playing the Cubs.