History Major Annabelle Duval Named Salutatorian

April 25, 2023

Annabelle Duval, a history major from Rhinebeck, New York, was named salutatorian. The Princeton faculty accepted the nominations of the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing at its April 24 meeting.

Commencement for the Class of 2023 will take place at Princeton Stadium on Tuesday, May 30. Milojević and Duval are expected to give remarks at the ceremony.

Annabelle Duval

Duval began studying Latin in sixth grade and at Princeton has taken courses in Latin literature as well as history and classics courses focused on the late antiquity period. The Princeton salutatorian address is traditionally given in Latin.

In the Princeton course, “Readings in Latin Literature — Roman Women, Reality, and Fantasy,” taught by Melissa Haynes, lecturer in classics, Duval found that the texts dovetailed in a meaningful way with both her history major, where she has focused on women’s history, and the certificate she is pursuing in gender and sexuality studies.

“Essentially every Latin text that I had read before that class centered on the male perspective,” said Duval, who is also proficient in Latin translation. “That class sparked an interest in bringing to light women’s voices throughout history.”

Duval is particularly passionate about Latin poetry, and one of these texts was Book III of Ovid’s poem “Ars Armatoria.” While Books I and II are about romantic tips for men, Duval said, Book III is written for women. “Ovid brought me into the life of Roman women more than most other texts I had read at that point.”

Her senior thesis, “Politics in the Clinic: Reproductive Health Services and Legal Strategies in The Association to Repeal Abortion Laws, 1966-1973,” expands on her interest in the history of feminism in the U.S., sparked her sophomore year when she took “Gender and Sexuality in Modern America,” taught by Margot Canaday, professor of history, who is her thesis adviser.