Call for Student Nominations: Emory Summer Seminar in Material Culture

The Use of Art and Material Culture in Scholarship and Teaching:
Greek and Roman Art: an Introduction
A Seminar in Material Culture for Graduate Students in Classics and Ancient History
Directed by Dr Jasper Gaunt, Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum,
Emory University
22 May – 30 June 2017
Emory University, Atlanta GA
Supported by generous grants from the Samuel H. Kress and Henry Luce Foundations, and Emory University
The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) invites doctoral programs in Classics or Ancient History to nominate a student to participate in a 6-week seminar that will introduce ten graduate students to the use of material culture in their scholarship and teaching. The aim of this seminar is to familiarize students with archaeological material that goes hand in hand with the historical and literary records, and how to incorporate such evidence into historical or philological research. This seminar will be the second of three with the same purpose but with different foci and at different institutions. The first took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2016; the third will be held in 2018. Background. Despite new awareness of the scope of material evidence, and the ready availability of excellent images, all too often literary scholars treat images as decoration or illustration, while historians exploit the material record only gingerly. Probably more important than “literature” was the oral tradition, and the essential web of images that arose from it. Conversely, it has been wisely said of archaeology that it is a branch of ancient history.
This seminar offers students an opportunity to engage with the material record on a daily basis. Over the six weeks, every effort will be made to introduce the widest range of possibilities encountered in the archaeological record. Not only pottery and sculpture in bronze and marble will be considered, but also works in precious or exotic materials like ivory, gold, silver, amber, gems, glass, faience, and colored stones. Questions of facture and circulation will predominate: how these objects were made, by whom, for whom, why, and how to recognize them in the literary, historical and epigraphic record.
Resources and Faculty.
Participants will have access to the Museum’s collections of Egyptian, Nubian, Near Eastern, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, both those on view in the galleries and those in storage. The latter, which will be used daily for teaching, include notably rich holdings of fine pottery and gems. The Karen Mariea Madsen Parsons Conservation Laboratory, the Thalia N. Carlos Education Center and its staff are also participants, as are Emory faculty members. An extensive collection of plaster casts of ancient sculpture, and models of the sanctuaries at Delphi, Olympia and the Athenian Acropolis on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art are sprinkled among several buildings on campus. Further resources include the two principal campus libraries, the Robert W. Woodruff together with the Stuart A. Rose Manuscripts and Rare Books Library; and The Pitts Theology Library. Besides resources at Emory, the course will include the participation of Prof. Patricia Butz, Savannah College of Art and Design, on treasuries and their inscriptions; Prof. Mark Abbe, University of Georgia at Athens, on polychromy and color on ancient sculpture; and Prof. Peter Bing, University of Toronto, on the new Posidippos papyrus and hellenistic gems.
The course is co-ordinated by Jasper Gaunt, Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. He is the joint editor with A.J. Clark of Essays in Honor of Dietrich von Bothmer (Amsterdam 2002), and has published widely on Greek vase-painting (including a volume of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Great Britain 21: Harrow School, 2005), vessels in bronze and marble, metrical inscriptions on pottery, and reception studies.
The seminar is structured in broadly chronological terms. The importance of time allocated for students to absorb material in the galleries in their own ways cannot be overstated. Three two-hour classes are planned each week around an over-arching theme, outlined in the synopsis. Provision is also made each afternoon for further opportunities to handle original objects. Excursions to local artists’ workshops – such as glass-blowing, gold working and a bronze foundry – are planned on Friday afternoons, as is a day trip to see the Nashville Parthenon and its life-size reproduction of the chryselephantine cult statue.
Expectations of Students.
It is proposed that students will undertake small assignments on an on-going basis, intended primarily to foster familiarity with the world of objects. These will include informal mini-presentations on objects in the Carlos Museum’s collections, gallery talks, and some sketching. Over the course of the seminar, participants will work on a paper to be presented in the last week. The subject will be of the student’s choice, rising out of their research interests, but in conjunction with the course co-ordinator, who will allocate generous weekly time to meet with students individually.
Logistics and Funding.
Students selected for the seminar will be offered free accommodation at the Clairmont Campus of Emory University. A shuttle service operates between this campus and the main one where the seminar will be held. Both on campus and within walking distance of campus can be found a variety of shops, grocery stores and places to eat. Some public transportation, and taxi services like Uber, work well. In other words, the use of a car is not essential. The cost of car rental is greatly reduced if the airport is avoided. In addition, thanks to the generosity of the Samuel H. Kress and Henry Luce Foundations, the SCS will provide a stipend of up to $2,000 to cover the cost of travel to and from Atlanta, and modest out of pocket expenses. The SCS believes that these arrangements will offset many but by no means all of the costs of attendance at the seminar.
Nomination Process.
Each doctoral program may nominate only one student for the seminar. The focus of the student’s academic work should be classical languages, literatures, and/or history and not archaeology or other areas of material culture. Preference will be given to graduate students who are still taking coursework or in the early stages of writing their dissertation. Nominators should elicit from potential applicants a CV and a statement of the value that the student expects to derive from attending the seminar, choose one applicant to nominate, and forward the CV and statement to the SCS Executive Director (, along with a brief endorsement. The student’s statement should be 500 to 700 words in length and should describe how the seminar would advance the applicant’s education and scholarly interests. The student him or herself should also email the Executive Director ( with full name, mailing address, phone number.
A committee consisting of Dr Gaunt as chair and Professors Mary English (SCS Vice President for Education) and Donald Mastronarde (SCS VP for Publications and Research) will select participants from ten different academic institutions and a variety of countries of origin. Although many applicants from North America are expected, students from all countries are equally welcome. Reasonable fluency in English is the only requirement. Nominations by departments and emails from student nominees including their full contact information should be submitted electronically to no later than 1 January 2017. The SCS will announce the decisions of the selection committee in early February 2017. Questions about the seminar program may be directed to Dr Gaunt at or by telephone at 404 727 1146.
Synopsis of Curriculum
Each week has an over-arching (chronological) theme that is explored in a two-hour class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30–11.30. On Mondays through Thursdays, an afternoon session 2.30–4:00 is offered during which original works of art that are relevant to the topics discussed during the week are handled, and questions of manufacture discussed. On Friday afternoons, excursions are planned to studios of artists working in different media.
Week One: Monday May 22 – Friday May 26: Homer between Bronze Age and Geometric Greece
The Heroon at Lefkandi - Nestor’s Cup from Pithekoussai – Early artistic responses to the Epic Cycle
Week Two: Monday May 29 – Friday June 2: Archaic Greece: The symposium: how to throw a party in archaic Greece
Myths on vases, myths in “literature” - History and heroes - Herodotus and the Vix krater
Week Three: Monday June 5 – Friday June 9: Classical Greece
Inscriptions and the Parthenon Inventories – Polychromy on Greek sculpture - Textiles
Guest speakers: Dr Patricia Butz, Savannah College of Art and Design (inscriptions); Dr Mark Abbe, University of Georgia at Athens (polychromy)
Week Four: Monday June 12 – Friday June 16: Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World
Macedonian Tombs - The Posidippos Papyrus and gems – Ptolemaic Egypt
Guest speaker: Dr Peter Bing, University of Toronto (Posidippos)
Week Five: Monday June 19 – Friday June 23: The Roman World
Trimalchio’s dinner party - Portraiture - Glass
Week Six: Monday June 26 – Friday June 30: Pulling Things Together
Student reports
(Photo: Michael C. Carlos Museum. Carlos Collection of Ancient Art, Atlanta, used with permission)


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The organizing committee cordially invites you to attend the 3rd INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PHARMACY AND MEDICINE IN ANCIENT EGYPT, to be held in Barcelona (Spain) on 25 - 26 October 2018.

The program includes the following speaker’s notes:

Prof. Rosalie David:

“Epidemics and their aftermath in ancient Egypt”

Emeritus Professor of Egyptology at The University of Manchester (UK).

Prof. Salima Ikram:

"Images  and analyses: recent Advances in Mummy Studies”

Distinguished Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and Invited Professor at Yale University (USA)

Prof. Eva-Maria Geigl:

“An Egyptian cat tale told by ancient DNA?”

Co-director of the Epigenome and paleogenome lab of the Institut Jacques Monod, University Paris-Diderot (Paris 7)/CNRS in Paris (France).

*In recent studies, Prof. Geigl and her team have demonstrated that the Ancient Egyptians were first to domesticate the cats.

Prof. Sahar Saleem:

"Ancient Egyptian medicine and health in the eyes of modern science"

Professor of Radiology at Kasr Al-Ainy Faculty of Medicine of the Cairo University (Egypt). Leading member of Egyptian Mummy Project - Egypt.

Dr. Jesús Herrerín López:

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 8:41am by Erik Shell.

Ex uno nihil fit nisi unum: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew Perspectives. (Abstracts due Jan. 22 to Eric Perl <>)

Michael Chase <>

At the beginning of his Commentary on the Liber De Causis (lib. 1, tract. 1, cap. 16, p. 13, 69-71 Fauser), Albert the Great writes: “This proposition, that from what is one and simple, only what is one can result (ab uno simplici non est nisi unum) is written by Aristotle in a letter which is on the Principle of the Being of the Universe (qui est de principio universi esse), and it is taken up and explained by Al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes”.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 8:37am by Erik Shell.

This is the first of several communications addressing the aftermath of the winter storm that coincided with the start of the Boston meeting.  Please be alert for communications later this week about registration refunds. However, this message concerns annual meeting travel stipends.

If you received a stipend and attended the meeting or expended your stipend trying to get to the meeting, then there is nothing that you need to do.  Thank you for attending or for trying to get to Boston under very difficult circumstances!

If you received a stipend and did not use the funds to travel (or attempt to travel) to Boston, you have two options:

(a) You may hold you stipend until next year and use it for the 2019 San Diego meeting. If you elect this option, you must inform the Executive Director (  You will not be eligible for a new stipend for 2019 if you retain your funding. 

(b) If you do not anticipate attending in 2019, or do not want to hold onto the funds, please return the funding by check to the SCS office. Checks should be made payable to the Society for Classical Studies and sent to Society for Classical Studies, 20 Cooper Sq. 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10003


View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 01/09/2018 - 8:07pm by Helen Cullyer.

Please see winter and spring deadlines for SCS awards and fellowships:

Nominations for graduate student participants in summer Material Culture seminar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: January 15, 2018

Coffin Fellowship, for secondary school teachers traveling abroad: February 28, 2018

Zeph Stewart Award, supporting teacher training: March 2, 2018

Pedagogy Award, open to K-12 teachers and college and university faculty: March 2, 2018

Ludwig Koenen Fellowship for summer training in papyrology: March 28, 2018


View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:40am by Helen Cullyer.
Poster for Arsonists
Arsonists are systematically torching the town!  First, they wheedle their way into your home and then burn it to the ground.  As the play opens, a mysterious wrestler from a recently incinerated circus arrives at Gottlieb Biedermann’s front door seeking some “kindness and humanity” - perhaps even a little "bread and wine" to go with it.   Will Biedermann let him in? Of course he does.  Will Biedermann then believe the wrestler and his charming companion when it becomes evident to him that they are, in fact, arsonists?  What will he do once he sees how far it has all gone?   
View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 5:28am by Helen Cullyer.

Please visit our Annual Meeting page for updates:

As of this morning, we know of just one panel that is completely cancelled.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 5:14am by Helen Cullyer.
Boston Skyscrapers

The SCS Committee on Diversity in the Profession invites annual meeting attendees to a reception on

Thursday January 4, 2018 at 9pm

St. George B, Westin Copley Place

Meet the committee members and learn about the new committee.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:28pm by Helen Cullyer.
Boston Skyscrapers

The SCS Advisory Board of the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Fellowship is holding a reception on

Thursday January 4, 2018 at 6pm

Atrium Lounge, Marriott Copley Place

All interested in the TLL and the NEH-funded TLL Fellowship Program, administered annually by SCS, are invited to attend.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:09pm by Helen Cullyer.

Ongoing discussions in academic circles about the value and purpose of 3-D immersive technologies have lately been sharpened by the emergence of consumer-ready VR and inexpensive game engines, especially Unity. One side of that discussion asserts that, in an academic context, these technologies are primarily valuable to the extent that they advance serious scientific and data visualization research. Others maintain that game design and “play” more broadly are equally important, and can transform how we teach many subjects. One approach does not exclude the other, of course, but my own experience has convinced me of the exciting potential of the latter, play-based, mode. For classicists, interdisciplinary as we are, the 3-D interactive future of research and teaching beyond textbooks holds important opportunities, especially if we take an active, collaborative role in shaping that future.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 12:00am by David Fredrick.

by Ronnie Ancona

Since my original article (see below) about Carl Sesar’s (then out of print) Catullus, many people have asked me whether the book is back in print. The very good news is that it has indeed been available, with some revisions, from Sesar’s own One Shot Press since 2013. He would be happy to answer questions about this publication via email ( or snail mail (Carl Sesar, One Shot Press, 7 Bardwell St., Florence, MA 01062).


by Ronnie Ancona

View full article. | Posted in on Sat, 12/23/2017 - 2:27am by Wells Hansen.


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