CFP: Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Rutgers University, May 31 - June 1, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Kristina Killgrove, UNC Chapel Hill

Human activity is regulated by the constant need to acquire and consume food. Assuredly, food and drink played a significant role in antiquity just as now, and, since we all must eat and drink, we naturally become curious about what and how our distant ancestors ate and drank (Alcock 2006). The study of food and drink in the ancient world expanded tremendously in the 1990s and has continued to do so in the decades following (e.g. Davison 1997, Garnsey 1999, Wilkins and Hill 2006). This resultant trend is partly owed to a focus in research less preoccupied with the great deeds of great men, but one open to seeing antiquity as a period that offers a wealth of information on the varied life of the everyday world (Donahue 2015).

One does not need to look far in the corpus of classical literature to find mention of viands—there is animal sacrifice in the epics of Homer and Vergil, ever-flowing wine in the sympotic and love elegies of Alcaeus and Horace, conceited cooks in the comedies of Aristophanes and Plautus, and indulgence in the elite banquets of theDeipnosophistai and Satyrica. Beyond these portraits, there are ancient treatises specifically devoted to the topic of food and drink—both philosophical, such as Porphyry’s On Abstinence from Animal Food, and medical, e.g. Galen’s On the Power of Foods. In supplementation of investigations based on literary texts, archaeology has produced an immense amount of information for our understanding of consumption in antiquity. From grand tomb finds to the more ordinary discoveries of kitchen utensils, excavations have dramatically clarified our picture of ancient dining. Archaeozoology and archaeobotany have helped answer questions about ancient diets, as have the osteological analyses associated with bioarchaeology.

We invite abstracts for papers that explore the topic of food and drink through various disciplines, such as Classics, Archaeology, Anthropology, Food Science, and related fields. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

 -  The Ancient Mediterranean Diet

      -   Staple foods in the Mediterranean (wine, oil, and bread; cereals and legumes)

      -   Meat consumption, availability of seafood

      -   Specialized diets, medical approaches to nutrition (e.g. for the military, athletes, infirm)

 -  The Social Context of Food and Drink

      -   Sacrifices and offerings, public and communal meals

      -   Variations in diet based on social class

      -   Food supply and shortages, grain doles (e.g. frumentatioannona)

 -  Food as a Point of Contact, Creator of Identity, Delimitation of Otherness

      -   Import and markets, especially for spices and exotic ingredients

      -   Horticulture, soil chemistry, and cultivation of local specialties

      -   Taboos (e.g. beer and milk as barbarian; cannibalism as historical fact or political slander)

 -  Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

      -   Wine and viticulture (e.g. merummulsum, and conditum)

      -   Access to potable water, aqueducts

      -   Drinking vessels (e.g. kylikesskyphoikantharoi, and their images)

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Dr. Kristina Killgrove, teaching assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, research scholar at the Ronin Institute, and senior contributor to Forbes. Dr. Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist, will deliver a talk on Roman diet and its correlation to disease, climate change, and migration.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding bibliography) by February 1st, 2019 to rutgers.foodanddrinkconference@gmail.com. Be sure to include any audio-visual needs in this email. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Please include in the email your name, affiliation, and contact information. The abstract itself should be anonymous. Questions may be sent to the same email. Successful applicants should expect to hear back from conference organizers by February 28th, 2019. In addition to providing accommodation, we are looking forward to hosting an ‘ancient’ feast for the conference organizers and speakers.

(Written by Emmanuel Aprilakis and Nicole Nowbahar [PhD Students, Rutgers University])

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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The Society for Classical Studies invites its members to volunteer to serve on committees or to stand for election for one of the offices that will appear on the ballot next summer, i.e., in 2015.  Visit this page of the web site to obtain more information about the offices and committees for which volunteers are invited.  July 31, 2014 is the deadline to submit the form for volunteers, a one-page letter describing your qualifications, and a C.V.  In completing the form, please be sure to rank order no more than three positions in which you are interested.  If you volunteer for elected office (Section I of the form.), we will forward your information to the Nominating Committee for consideration during its meetings this coming fall.  If you volunteer for committees filled by appointment, we will provide your materials to the President and to the appropriate vice president or committee chair who will invite members to fill vacancies by the end of 2014.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 9:14am by Adam Blistein.

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has issued a press release describing a variety of data tools that it is now making widely available as part of its Humanities Indicators Project.  Information available now includes data on funding, employment of humanities graduates, and enrollment of high school students in humanities subjects.  SCS is a participant in the second departmental survey being conducted by the Indicators Project.  This survey is gathering information about enrollment and employment in several fields in the humanities, and the Academy expects to issue a report on the survey's findings in September.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:12am by Adam Blistein.

The conference will take place from October 17-19 at Lewis & Clark College.  This conference is free and open to the public, although advance registration is requested.  Program details and registration information appear on the Conference's web site

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:51am by Adam Blistein.

From http://blackamericaweb.com/

William S. Scarborough was born a slave in Georgia, but went on to become one of the nation’s leading scholars in Greek and Latin literature.

In fact, many consider Scarborough to be the first African-American classical scholar. Born in February 16, 1852, in Macon, Georgia, Scarborough’s father was a freed slave but his mother was still enslaved, thus he inherited her status. Although educating slaves was against the law, Scarborough was secretly taught how to read and write in the classical languages.

He later went on to serve as an apprentice shoemaker, and then worked as a secretary at a well-known Black association because of his studies. Scarborough attended college at Atlanta University before heading to Oberlin where he graduated with honors in 1875.

Read more, or listen to the audio file at http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/07/01/little-known-black-history-fact-william-s-scarborough/

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 5:43pm by Information Architect.

This month’s column is the first part in a series I’ll post every other month or so about how we can apply and see in action the 7 principles of research-based pedagogy described in the excellent book How Learning Works, by Susan Ambrose, et al.  This month’s topic: knowledge organization, ch. 2 of the book.

Diagram visualizing novice vs. expert knowledge structuresExperts and novices mentally organize their knowledge in profoundly different ways.  By and large, even when we as students or teachers explicitly discuss and consciously implement knowledge acquisition processes — like flashcards, or declension drills — our mental systems of organizing the knowledge acquired are generally implicit and subconscious.  But the difference between expert and novice knowledge organizations has substantial consequences for effective ancient-language instruction.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 8:39am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) seeks proposals from academic institutions interested in hosting a six-week seminar in the Summer of 2015 during which ten graduate students enrolled in programs in classical philology or ancient history will increase and improve their ability to use the art and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean world in their scholarship and teaching.  This seminar has been funded by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation and will take place over dates to be selected by the host institution in the summer of 2015.  SCS will also sponsor a seminar of this nature in the Summers of 2016 and 2017.  The 2016 seminar will be funded by the Getty Foundation and will take place at the Getty Villa.  In 2016 the SCS will issue another call for proposals to organize the 2017 seminar, which will be supported by the Samuel H. Kress and Henry Luce Foundations.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 06/20/2014 - 10:12am by Adam Blistein.

The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for its residential fellowships for 2015/2016, as well as early applications for the academic years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. The deadline is Monday, September 29, 2014 (12 pm EST or 6 pm CET). Applications may be submitted online or mailed to the Berlin office.
The Academy welcomes applications from emerging and established scholars and from writers and professionals who wish to engage in independent study in Berlin. Approximately 25 Berlin Prizes are conferred annually. Past recipients have included historians, economists, poets and novelists, journalists, legal scholars, anthropologists, musicologists, and public policy experts, among others. The Academy does not award fellowships in the natural sciences.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 06/18/2014 - 1:31pm by Adam Blistein.

The Department of Classical Studies at Duke University regrets to announce the sudden passing of its esteemed and beloved friend and colleague, Diskin Clay.  An obituary is posted here

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 06/16/2014 - 9:01am by Adam Blistein.

The SCS Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) seeks participants for its performance at the SCS/AIA Annual Meeting in New Orleans (January 8-11, 2015).  This year’s play is Wealth, an adaptation of Aristophanes’ Plutus, written by Karen Rosenbecker, and directed by Artemis Preeshl. With one foot in ancient Athens and the other in modern New Orleans, Wealth takes on the timeless topic of income inequality and shows us what happens when the poor are given a chance to remake their world. Here is a brief overview of the roles.

We will need actors, stage crew, and helpers for this limited-rehearsal, staged reading. In the spirit of laissez le bon temps rouler, we welcome veterans and newcomers alike, and we embrace cross-gender casting. Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday afternoon (01/06), with subsequent rehearsals on Wednesday afternoon and evening (01/07), on Thursday afternoon (01/08), and one Friday rehearsal (01/09), as schedules permit; the performance will take place on Friday evening (01/09; 7 pm curtain).  Send an e-mail describing your interests and talents to karenrosenbecker@gmail.com and aspreesh@loyno.edu, by September 1, 2014. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:12pm by Adam Blistein.

The National Humanities Center offers up to 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities for academic-year or semester-long residencies.  In addition to scholars from all fields of the humanities, the Center welcomes individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life who are engaged in humanistic projects.  The Center is international and gladly accepts applications from scholars outside the United States.  Most of the Center's fellowships are unrestricted. Several, however, are designated for particular areas of research, including:

  • Philosophy
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  • English Literature
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  • Asian Studies
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Located in the progressive Triangle region of North Carolina, the Center affords access to the rich cultural and intellectual communities supported by the area's many research institutes and universities. The Center's home in Research Triangle Park fosters individual research and the exchange of ideas.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:01pm by Adam Blistein.

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