Tag Archive for Classical Studies

Roberts Speaks on Late Latin Poetry, Song

Michael Roberts, professor and chair of the Classical Studies Department, presented a paper titled, “Venantius Fortunatus on Poetry and Song,” at the annual meeting of the International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies at Brown University, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2013. He also spoke at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign on March 21 on “Pompatic Poetics: Claudian’s Epithalamium for Honorius and Maria and Some Features of Late Latin Poetry.”

Roberts also is the Robert Rich Professor of Latin and professor of medieval studies.

Birney’s Fellowships Support Research, Archaeology

Kate Birney, assistant professor of classical studies, assistant professor of archaeology, leads a student excavation team at the site of Ashkelon. The site is located in the southern district of Israel on the Mediterranean coast.

Kate Birney, assistant professor of classical studies, assistant professor of archaeology, leads a student excavation team at the site of Ashkelon. The site is located in the southern district of Israel on the Mediterranean coast.

Between 2500-1200 B.C., Ashkelon was one of the largest and most important commercial centers around the Mediterranean, and it remained a thriving metropolis under varying degrees of Egyptian control until until the Crusaders conquered the city in the 12th century. Today, the site remains preserved, as does a 3,500-year-old, two-story-high mudbrick-archway.

As a recipient of two fellowships, Kate Birney will have the opportunity to study the Hellenistic period (ca. 330 B.C. to ca 100 B.C.) for an upcoming book.

As a recipient of two fellowships, Kate Birney will have the opportunity to study the Hellenistic period (ca. 330 B.C. to ca 100 B.C.) for an upcoming book.

Since 1985, the site has been excivated by the Leon Levy Expedition — a joint project drawing students and faculty from Wesleyan, Harvard University, Wheaton College and Boston University. To date, Ashkelon archaeological digs have revealed a neighborhood of elite Philistine houses dating from the 11th-10th centuries B.C.

Every year, Kate Birney, assistant professor of classical studies, assistant professor of archaeology, leads a student excavation team at the site of Ashkelon. And as a recipient of two fellowships from the 2014-15 academic year, she will continue her research on the historic area.

Next fall, as a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, Birney will conduct research at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem; and in the spring, she’ll complete a Fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. Both fellowships are related to her present research at Wesleyan.

“Since I specialize in interconnections between ancient Greece and the Near East, I’m particularly excited about these fellowships. The fall NEH will allow me to work within a community of scholars who specialize in Near Eastern archaeology, to process the archaeological data, while the spring fellowship at the CHS will allow me to develop my ideas within a community of Classical scholars,” she said.

Visvardi Speaks on Greek Tragedy, Teaching Medea

Eirene Visvardi, assistant professor of classical studies, gave three talks in 2013 including “Afraid, They Judge. Afraid, They Act: Collective Fear in Greek Tragedy and Democratic Politics,” at Texas Tech University on May 6; “Emotional Acts: The Case of Pity,” at Yale University on Sept. 28; and “Teaching Euripides’ Medea,” at Columbia University on Oct. 13.

Classical Studies’ Roberts Speaks on Late Latin Poetry, Song

Michael Roberts, chair and professor of classical studies, spoke about “Pompatic Poetics: Claudian’s Epithalamium for Honorius and Maria and Some Features of Late Latin Poetry,” at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign on March 21. He also presented a paper titled “Venantius Fortunatus on Poetry and Song,” at the annual meeting of the International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies at Brown University, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2013.

Roberts also is the Robert Rich Professor of Latin and professor of medieval studies.

Caldwell Presents Paper on Paternal Authority at Conference in France

Lauren Caldwell, assistant professor of classical studies, presented a paper on rhetoric and paternal authority in the Roman Empire at the conference “Lire la déclamation latine,” Feb. 14  at Université Paris IV – Sorbonne. She also gave a lecture on Roman ideas about justice and natural growth at “Ancient Law, Ancient Society: A Conference in Honor of Bruce W. Frier,” Oct. 26, 2013 at the University of Michigan.

Fine Arts Expert Discusses Patronage in Rome with First-Year Seminar Students

Kristin Triff, associate professor of fine arts at Trinity College, spoke to Wesleyan students about "Patronage and Public Image in Renaissance Rome: The Orsini Palace at Monte Giordano" Oct. 23 in Usdan University Center. Her talk was designed to make the presentation of faculty scholarship accessible to first-year students.

Kristin Triff, associate professor of fine arts at Trinity College, spoke to Wesleyan students about “Patronage and Public Image in Renaissance Rome: The Orsini Palace at Monte Giordano” Oct. 23 in Usdan University Center. Her talk was designed to make the presentation of faculty scholarship accessible to first-year students.

Roman Archaeologist Parslow Receives Residency at Institute for Advanced Study

Christopher Parslow, professor and chair of the Classical Studies Department, professor of archaeology, has been selected as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., for the 2013 fall term. Parslow, a Roman archaeologist specializing in the ancient sites buried by the eruption of Vesuvius, will spend his semester-long residency working on a book on the Praedia (Properties) of Julia Felix in Pompeii.

He was chosen on the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Each year, about a quarter of the nearly 200 scholars from dozens of countries studying at the Institute receive appointments to the School of Historical Studies. The visiting scholars, known as members and visitors, interact with fellow scholars within and across disciplines and conduct research unencumbered by teaching and administrative obligations.

Parslow has been a member of the Wesleyan faculty since 1991. As a Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Classical Art and Archaeology, he spent two years at the American Academy in Rome. His first book was Rediscovering Antiquity: Karl Weber and the Excavations of Herculaneum, Pompeii and Stabiae (Cambridge 1995), a biography of Karl Weber, the Swiss military engineer who sought to establish a more scientific approach to the study of the earliest excavations at those cities. His most recent article, “The Sacrarium of Isis in the Praedia Iuliae Felicis in Pompeii in its Archaeological and Historical Contexts,” was published this year in the volume Rediscovering the Ancient World on the Bay of Naples of the series Studies in the History of Art of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His other publications include articles on the history of the early excavations in the Vesuvian landscape and on the results of his own excavations, on which Wesleyan students have participated.

Founded in 1930, the Institute for Advanced Study is a private, independent academic institution. Past faculty members have included Albert Einstein, who remained at the institute until his death in 1955, and distinguished scientists and scholars such as Kurt Gödel, J. Robert Oppenheimer and George Kennan. It has no formal links to other educational institutions but enjoys close, collaborative ties with Princeton University and other nearby institutions.

Distinguished Fellow Szegedy-Maszak Teaches Photography, Social Movements in 4 Cities

Andy Szegedy-Maszak

Andy Szegedy-Maszak

In his role as 2013 Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Andy Szegedy-Maszak, professor of classical studies and the Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, brought a slice of Wesleyan to members of the Wesleyan community—alumni, parents, admitted students—living in select cities on the West Coast.

The Distinguished Teaching Fellowship—of which Szegedy-Maszak is the first recipient—offers the professor the opportunity to teach a course outside of his/her usual departmental offerings. Szegedy-Maszak is teaching a course through the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life on photography and its effect on social movements. It was this topic he explored in his WESeminar on the Road, which took him to San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

His talk included a discussion of Jacob Riis’s photos of tenement dwellers in New York City during the late 1800s, published in the famous book How the Other Half Lives, along with images of Depression-era tenant farmers in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans. Additionally, Szegedy-Maszak analyzed one other photograph that helped focus his thoughts on the ability of photography to influence social change.

Classical Studies Hosts Day-Long Homerathon

Homerathon! The Department of Classical Studies hosted a day-long reading of Homer’s "Odyssey" on April 18.

Homerathon! The Department of Classical Studies hosted a day-long reading of Homer’s “Odyssey” on April 18.

See the map.

Caldwell’s Op-Ed: Akin Uses Science of Ancient Romans

In an Aug. 24 op-ed for The Hartford Courant, Lauren Caldwell, assistant professor of classical studies, says that U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s reference to women being able to consciously prevent conception during rape is relying on “facts” presented by the ancient Roman physician Soranus of Ephesus in the Second Century, A.D. Caldwell also says, “The next time I teach my course, I will be able to bring in the example of Rep. Akin to illustrate the ways in which ‘medical understanding’ continues to be used with the aim of social control,” which was also an objective of Roman rulers in the second century.

Caldwell Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Education

Lauren Caldwell

Lauren Caldwell

Lauren Caldwell, assistant professor of classical studies, received a faculty grant for course development in Middle Eastern Studies from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program of the U.S. Department of Education. Caldwell, whose research specialties include Greco-Roman medicine, used the grant for summer travel to the Wellcome Library for the History of Medicine, in London, England, and to Cambridge University.

The grant allowed Caldwell to consult the Wellcome Library’s substantial collection of texts on ancient and medieval medicine. “The transmission of the writings of Galen, the most famous of Roman imperial physicians, into medical theory in Baghdad in the 8th and 9th centuries is a key moment in the Western medical tradition,” Caldwell says. “As a graduate student, I became interested in how many medical texts from the Roman Empire, originally written in Greek, were translated into Arabic in the medieval period. More generally, I have been eager to gain a better understanding of the overlap between the approaches of ancient and medieval physicians. The topic of translation–both of texts and of ideas–is one in which historians of antiquity are becoming increasingly interested.”

With the grant, Caldwell was able to take advantage of the resources at the world’s top research center for the history of medicine.

“Now I have a better sense of how medieval Islamic medicine can broaden my future research and teaching,” she says.

Caldwell plans to add a multi-week unit on medicine in the middle ages to her Classical Civilization course, Medicine and Health in Antiquity, and hopes to link the course to the Middle Eastern Studies program.

Ruden’s Lysistrata Published in Norton Anthology

Sarah Ruden

A translation by Sarah Ruden, visiting scholar in classics, was published in the The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Third Edition in 2012. 

Ruden’s Lysistrata translation was first published in 2003 by Hackett Publishing. Lysistrata is Aristophanes’ comic masterpiece of war and sex. Led by the title character, the women of the warring city-states of Greece agree to withhold sexual favors with their husbands until they agree to cease fighting.

The Norton Anthology of World Literature remains the most-trusted anthology of world literature available. Guided by the advice of more than 500 teachers of world literature and a panel of regional specialists, the editors of the Third Edition made several selections and translations, all-new introductions and headnotes, hundreds of new illustrations, redesigned maps, timelines and new media resources.