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 fifteenth annual classics institute of the Wyoming Humanities Council will run from June 15-20, 2014 and is entitled "The Emperor and the Philosopher: Nero, Seneca, and Their World."  The institute will help participants gain knowledge of Roman history, culture, and society and will focus on the reign of Nero (A.D. 54-68) which has gone down in history as a time of lurid palace intrigues, a paranoid emperor who freely put his enemies to death, and heroic resistance to imperial power by a valiant few—particularly Stoics, who needed their stiff-upperlip philosophy to face the emperor’s deadly caprices, and Christians, who never forgot that Nero was the first of a long line of Roman persecutors of their faith. Yet despite dysfunctions at the top, it was also an age of power and prosperity throughout the empire (somebody was doing something right), with some strange and new literary developments, along with religious and philosophical ferment. Gracious (and some not-so-gracious) living flourished in Pompeii, wiped out by the famous eruption of Vesuvius after the death of Nero. This year’s institute will explore all these developments, and more, with an experienced and distinguished team of faculty. The institute will include four minicourses, (each participant will select two courses to attend) a daily seminar for group discussions, and a daily public lecture series.

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 4:37pm by Adam Blistein.

Der Karl-Christ-Preis ist dem Andenken an den Marburger Althistoriker Karl Christ gewidmet (1923 – 2008). Mit dem Preis werden herausragende wissenschaftliche Leistungen auf dem Gebiet der Alten Geschichte und ihrer Nachbardisziplinen sowie der Wissenschafts- und Rezeptionsgeschichte des Altertums ausgezeichnet. Der Preis ist mit 25.000 Euro dotiert und wird im zweijährigen Turnus verliehen. Vorschlagsrecht haben Mitglieder und Angehörige von Universitäten und Akademien sowie Fachverbände und wissenschaftliche Vereinigungen. Eine Selbstnomination ist nicht möglich. Stimmberechtigte Mitglieder der für die Verleihung des Preises verantwortlichen Kommission sind Prof. Dr. Stefan Rebenich (Vorsitzender, Universität Bern), Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin (Universität Frankfurt) und Prof. Dr. Andreas Rödder (Universität Mainz). Der Preis wird im Wechsel Frankfurt a.M. / Bern verliehen. Die zweite Verleihung erfolgt am 17. April 2015 an der Universität Bern.
Vorschläge mit einem curriculum vitae, einer Publikationsliste und einer eingehenden Würdigung (drei bis fünf Seiten) der wissenschaftlichen Leistung und Laufbahn der bzw. des Vorgeschlagenen sind bis zum 31. Oktober 2014 an den Vorsitzenden der Kommission, Prof. Dr. Stefan Rebenich, Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte, Universität Bern, Länggassstr. 49, CH – 3005 Bern (stefan.rebenich@hist.unibe.ch) zu senden.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 4:16pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA has received an invitation from a ministry in the Italian government to respond to a survey about visits to Hadrian’s Villa.  The ministry is looking into the possible impact of a housing development on the Villa.  If you would like to respond to the survey, visit this web site.  Although the first page of the survey states that the deadline for responses is March 10, the deadline has been extended to March 31, 2014.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 03/27/2014 - 10:32am by Adam Blistein.

The APA is a member of the National Humanities Alliance, a consortium of learned societies and other institutions that advocates for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other relevant agencies.  Thanks to the efforts of the Alliance, several members of Congress, Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Thomas Petri (R-WI) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) are circulating “Dear Colleague” letters in their respective chambers that support funding for the NEH.  “Dear Colleague” letters are a way for members of Congress to express their backing of legislation in advance of a vote on the relevant bill. 

You can assist in this work by urging your representative and your senators to sign these letters.  The Alliance has set up an electronic form that you can use to send your message.  Once you provide some basic contact information that will direct your message to the correct members of Congress, you will have access to a template that describes the importance of humanities funding and provides contact information for the Congressional staff members gathering signatures for these letters.  You should feel free to add to this template examples of how you have used federal funding to reach audiences both on your campus and off it or of effects you have observed of recent cuts in federal funding for the humanities. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 4:16pm by Adam Blistein.

It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.

So ended Missouri Republican Todd Akin’s chances of unseating Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in the 2012 U.S. election.  Discussing pregnancy resulting from rape (timeline of the comments here), Akin was defending his belief that anti-abortion laws shouldn’t include exemptions for victims of rape.  Akin’s words are a now-classic example of a “Kinsley gaffe,” when a politician slips up and says what s/he actually thinks—classic enough that the term “Akinize” now describes the tactic whereby a Democrat compares a Republican opponent’s words to Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments.

Akin was expressing a factually baseless belief that’s not a new idea, and was part of such a trend of election-cycle “rape and pregnancy controversies” that Wikipedia has a page devoted to it.  He also was participating in a tradition dating back at least to the 1st/2nd-century CE Greek medical writer Soranus of Ephesus, whose treatise on gynecology is filled with quack-science gems akin to Akin’s.  Yet there’s a key difference of opinion between Akin and Soranus, as we’ll see, that makes Akin’s comments more sinister by contrast.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:00pm by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

Most people nowadays read classical literature in translation, if they read it at all. This isn't at all a bad thing, or something that classicists need to waste time lamenting. Getting even an "intermediate level" knowledge of Latin or Greek is a hard slog, and life is not infinite: dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: "Time is a hater, and while we are talking, she's gone". Translation is the means by which most people will read Horace. If we wonder about one version (as we probably will about my deliberately-debatable stab at this line: did the Romans really have "haters"?), we can compare it with multiple others: "envious time"? "hostile time"? "jealous time"? Any of these choices makes a different suggestion about what kind of person time might be, how we should feel about her tendency to scarper, and what drives her animosity towards us.

In this context, it's not surprising that new translations of classical texts are rolling off the presses at an alarming rate. I write as one of the hordes currently working on a new translation of the Odyssey. It is notable that many of my fellow-translators are not tenured academics: translation has a fairly marginal position in the contemporary academy (and certainly won't get you tenure), but it is a practice that ought to be of interest to all of us, as scholars, as teachers and as defenders of our discipline. Translation is the most direct means by which we communicate these texts to a large number of people.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:28pm by Emily Wilson.
Sicily, Crossroads of History, Dec. 27, 2014-Jan. 4 or 7, 2015, Director: Beverly Berg

Sicily is a true crossroads of history, with striking archaeological remains from antiquity and beautiful churches from Medieval and Baroque times. Our program takes a complete circle tour of this magical island. We begin with a visit to beautiful Taormina, then on to Syracuse, where Timoleon and Plato once walked. We contemplate the golden temples of Agrigento, Selinunte, and Segesta, some of the best preserved temples of Classical Greek times. The program ends in Palermo, and there is an optional post-classical continuation to see more of Palermo, once a Punic town, beautified by Norman French rulers in the 12th century and Aragonese rulers thereafter.

Price: 8 night version: $1,595 per person, single supplement of $200. 11 night version: $1,995, single supplement $275.  Price will include hotels, breakfasts, dinners except in Syracuse and the extra nights in Palermo, ground transportation, and entry fees.  Price will NOT include airfare, dinners in Syracuse and on post-classical extension in Palermo, and transfer from Palermo airport to hotel, or (for those on post-classical extension) from hotel to airport.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:22am by Adam Blistein.
The Program in Ancient Studies at Indiana University (http://www.indiana.edu/~ancient/home/) will host a conference on the topic of the miniature and the minor on April 11-12, 2014, on the Bloomington campus.  Whereas so much of our research implicitly or explicitly concerns the monumental and the major, we propose to investigate the miniature and the minor in antiquity from five distinct disciplinary perspectives: Classical Studies, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, and Religious Studies. We are interested not only in the realia of the miniature and the minor but in the construction of those categories by both ancients and moderns. We are interested in the miniature and minor both in their own rights and as counterpoints to the monumental and the major. We are less interested in simply demanding that attention be paid to the neglected and the overlooked. 
 
For further information, please contact Jonathan Ready (jready@indiana.edu) or visit the conference web site:  http://www.indiana.edu/~ancient/events/Con2014.shtml
View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:07am by Adam Blistein.

The Department of Classics at the University of Reading (UK) has recently launched a new interdisciplinary MA course in ‘Ancient Maritime Trade and Navigation’ in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari University in Italy. This unique MA focuses on the history of maritime trade, shipbuilding, and navigation techniques in the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean, and the archaeology of port infrastructures, ships, and trade goods.

The duration of the program of study is 12 months; Reading courses draw on the research expertise of academic staff within the Departments of Classics, Economics, and Archaeology, as well as the Centre for Economic History.  The two-month long Venice course combines seminars, lectures and site visits and is taught in English by staff of the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici of Ca’ Foscari. Students will also have the option to take part in one of the underwater excavation projects run by Ca’ Foscari over the summer. Applications for the academic year 2014/15 close on June 1, 2014.

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:08pm by Adam Blistein.

Heckman Stipends, made possible by the A.A. Heckman Endowed Fund at St. John's College in Collegeville, MN, are awarded semi-annually. Up to 10 stipends in amounts up to $2,000 are available each year. Funds may be applied toward travel to and from Collegeville, housing and meals at Saint John’s University, and costs related to duplication of HMML’s microfilm or digital resources. The Stipend may be supplemented by other sources of funding but may not be held simultaneously with another HMML Stipend or Fellowship. Holders of the Stipend must wait at least two years before applying again.  The program is specifically intended to help scholars who have not yet established themselves professionally and whose research cannot progress satisfactorily without consulting materials to be found in the collections of the Hill Museum &Manuscript Library.

Applications must be submitted by April 15 for residencies between July and December of the same year, or by November 15 for residencies between January and June of the following year.  Applicants are asked to provide:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:45am by Adam Blistein.

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