Dr. James Terry has announced his retirement. Before we see less of him around campus, let's get to know him a bit better.

Q: How long have you been teaching at Stephens?

A: I have taught at Stephens since the spring of 1998—so exactly 25 years at the end of the current semester. 

Q: What subjects have you taught over the years?

A: I have taught Art History, with occasional forays into English/Creative Writing.

Q: What subject is your favorite to teach and why?

A: My doctorate is in Classical Archaeology, so I especially love Greek, Roman and Byzantine art—but I have also greatly enjoyed teaching Introduction to World Art, which focuses on Africa, Asia, the pre-Columbian Americas and Oceania.

Q: Tell us about your favorite memory or accomplishment while at Stephens?

A: Many of my favorite Stephens memories happened outside of the classroom. I led study abroad trips for Stephens students in Mexico (with my colleague Bill Cleary), and in France (Paris, Marseille and Lyon). Early in my career I did a lot of archaeological field work, and I was able to bring one student with me to volunteer on an excavation in Aqaba, Jordan. And for the last five years, as coordinator of Study Abroad at Stephens, I have helped students fulfill their dreams of traveling and learning overseas. 

I loved taking my Art History students to the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins and Kemper museums in Kansas City.  In my work with the Stephens Scholars program, I have helped introduce students to Columbia with visits to sites like the Farmers Market, the MU Research Reactor, the Columbia Tribune, and behind-the-scenes tours of the RagTag Cinema and the Missouri Theatre. Our most recent excursion in November took us to City Hall to meet the mayor and learn about how local government works. 

And of course, a lot of my best memories are of my brilliant, kind and generous faculty colleagues, past and present!

Q: What do you plan to do with your time in retirement?

A: I'm going to be working on a book about artistic pleasure and human evolution—an idea that came out of teaching a course called "Seven Pleasures" at Stephens. And I love teaching too much to give it up altogether, so I am hoping to pick up an adjunct course now and then at Stephens or MU. I have also been volunteering in recent years teaching art history courses for seniors with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and I definitely plan to continue that. My spare time will be occupied by gardening, cooking, pickleball, bridge and rooting for the New York Mets—and best of all enjoying time with my wonderful family (my first wife Catey, son Pen and daughter Ellen).


More about Dr. Terry

Dr. James Terry
Associate Professor
Ph.D., M.A., University of Missouri-Columbia, B.A., Wesleyan University

Dr. James Terry is an archaeologist and art historian. He holds a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has participated in archaeological field work in Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and Tunisia and, as a Fulbright Scholar, spent a year living in North Africa researching Late Roman and Early Byzantine tomb mosaics. His research interests include human sacrifice in ancient Greek art and the paleolithic roots of artistic pleasure.

Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Terry!

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