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.
 
Schedule.
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 (xd@classicalstudies.org), 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 (xd@classicalstudies.org) 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 xd@classicalstudies.org 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 jgaunt@emory.edu 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
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(Photo: Michael C. Carlos Museum. Carlos Collection of Ancient Art, Atlanta, used with permission)

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Map of Atlantis by Athanasius Kircher, Mundus subterraneus, vol. 1. (Amsterdam 1678) (Image in the Public Domain via Wikimedia).

A recent surge of critical focus on pseudoscience and classics focused on issues from Hippocrates and scientific racism to the racial bias of Ancient Aliens sees scholars doing the work to convince our field that classicists, historians, and archaeologists ought to take action to address the dissemination of pseudoscientific views in popular media.[1] Yet once we’ve accepted that we should confront pseudoscience in classics and archaeology, we find ourselves confronted with a rather different question: how can we best teach this in our classrooms?

When I was assigned as a teaching assistant for Intro to Greek Art and Archaeology last winter, I admit my first feeling was of slight trepidation: outside one requisite archaeology course for my bachelor’s degree, my classical training had skewed heavily toward philology and literary analysis.[2] How could I hope to leave a lasting impression on fifty students, with material I hadn’t “officially” studied in a course since my own freshman year, with only one fifty-minute discussion section per week?

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 5:09pm by Ana Maria Guay.

Reframing Wisdom Literature: Problematising Literary and Religious Interactions in Ancient Wisdom Texts 

Postgraduate Conference
Department of Classics, King’s College London, 30th-31st May 2019 
 
Keynote speaker: Prof. Dimitri Gutas, Yale University 
Organisers: Sara De Martin and Anna Lucia Furlan

Introduction 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:44am by Erik Shell.
NEH Logo

December, 2018

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Suzanne Obdrzalek (Claremont McKenna College) - "Plato's Philosophy of Mind: Soul, Body and Forms in Plato's Oeuvre"
  • William Seales (University of Kentucky Research Foundation) - "Reading the Invisible Library: Rescuing the Hidden Texts of Herculaneum
    Project Description: The continued development of computerized techniques to recover writings from the Herculaneum library, the entire collections of which were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 BCE
  • Thomas Keeline (Washington University in St. Louis) - "Latin Textual Scholarship in the Digital Age: An Open-Access Critical Edition of Ovid's Ibis and its Scholia"
  • Rachana Kamtekar (Cornell University) - "Human Agency and Cause from Aristotle to Alexander"
  • Katharina Volk (Columbia University) - "The Politics of Knowledge in Late Republican Rome"
  • Paul Iverson (Case Western Reserve University) - "The 2,000-Year-Old Calculator Known as the Antikythera Mechanism and Ancient Greek Calendars"

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View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:37am by Erik Shell.

NACGLE 2020


The 3rd North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy

“Inscriptions and the Epigraphic Habit”

January 5-7, 2020
Washington DC

Call for papers:

The third North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy will be held January 5-7, 2020, in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of the American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (ASGLE), and with support from Georgetown University.

The congress will be held immediately following the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies in Washington DC (January 2-5, 2020), and will include thematic panels on a variety of topics, a poster session, and possible excursions. We invite papers that present epigraphy related to the ancient world from the archaic period through late antiquity.

The congress organizing committee is pleased to invite individual abstracts for the parallel sessions (for papers of 20 minutes) and for the poster session.

Panels may be devoted some of the following themes:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:14am by Erik Shell.

BRITAIN'S EARLY PHILOSOPHERS (Durham, April 1-2, 2019)

The Durham Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (http://dcamp.uk) is hosting a two-day workshop on Britain's Early Philosophers and is seeking abstracts for contributed talks on any aspect of philosophy and philosophers born in or living in Britain before 1000.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:54am by Erik Shell.
San Diego

The local guide to San Diego is now available!  Many thanks to our local arrangements committee.

As a reminder, December 14 is the deadline to sign up for our Career Networking session and to make a hotel reservation at our group rate. 

See our 2019 Annual Meeting page for details.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 12/12/2018 - 9:53am by Helen Cullyer.

XenoiHospitality and Xenophobia in the Graeco Roman World

12th Annual Graduate Student Conference
March 15, 2019
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Keynote Speaker: Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Denison University

The PhD/MA Program in Classics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York invites graduate students in Classics or related fields to submit abstracts for papers that explore the topics of hospitality and xenophobia in the Graeco-Roman world.

Hospitality is commonly recognized as an important value in the ancient Greek world. Xenia - or guest friendship - was a political and religious institution as well as an instrument of diplomatic relations. Through practices of supplications, strangers and foreigners demanded to be received in aristocratic houses or in whole cities. On the other hand, there is an emerging debate about the existence of xenophobia and ethnocentrism in the ancient world, from the distinction between Greeks and barbarians to the Roman treatment of enemies and slaves.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 12/11/2018 - 3:20pm by Erik Shell.
150th Logo

As part of the organization's Sesquicentennial celebrations, SCS has developed a short history of its book publications. You can read that history here and download a full list of books published by SCS, formerly the American Philological Association.

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Mon, 12/10/2018 - 11:35am by Helen Cullyer.
TEACHING ROME AT HOME
May 2-4, 2019, College Park, Maryland

DEADLINE EXTENDED until Mon., Feb. 18:  Conference on “Teaching Rome at Home"

The Department of Classics at the University of Maryland, College Park, invites proposals from university and K-12 teachers and graduate students for papers and workshops on the ways in which Latin and ancient Roman civilization are now being taught to and connected with a contemporary American audience, with special emphasis on issues of contemporary urgency such as the legacies of gender and social inequality and of slavery. 

The "Classics" were etymologically and institutionally synonymous with attending "class" in the United States from the colonial period up until the end of the nineteenth century.  Americans studied Roman history and literature in school and thus Rome seemed already to be their “home,” especially since the Romans deposed kings who once ruled them just as revolutionary Americans set out to do with the British King. Over its second century, however, America gradually confronted its idealization of a Roman past and began to explore, in discussions of women's rights, of sexual identity, of multiculturalism, and of the fall of Rome, the ways in which the realities of antiquity might speak to us.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 12/10/2018 - 9:47am by Erik Shell.







Prof. Laura Gawlinski takes a look at the newly renovated Epigraphic Museum in Athens and notes the ways in which museums are working to make their holdings more accessible for students, teachers, and the public. 


Renovated Room 11. Molly Richardson (ASCSA/ SEG) introduces the EM to members of the Regular Program of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 

Many readers of the SCS blog have had the pleasure of carrying out research at the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. If you haven’t visited in a while, it is well worth stopping by to see the results of the recent renovations of its two main exhibition rooms, celebrated in a grand opening ceremony on May 25, 2017. 

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 12/10/2018 - 7:27am by Laura Gawlinski.

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