JAMES J. ODONNELL is a classical scholar and University Librarian at Arizona State University. He formerly served as University Professor at Georgetown University (2012-2015) and as Provost of Georgetown University from 2002–2012. O'Donnell previously served as Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing at the University of Pennsylvania (1996–2002). He is a former President of the American Philological Association and a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. Since 2012, he chairs the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies.
He is the author of Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace, Augustine: A New Biography, The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and most recently, Pagans. He has published widely on the cultural history of the late antique Mediterranean world and is a recognized innovator in the application of networked information technology in higher education.
In 1990, he co-founded Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the second on-line scholarly journal in the humanities ever created. He is a former President of the American Philological Association and a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. In 1994, he taught an Internet-based seminar on the work of Augustine of Hippo that reached 500 students.