Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows 2019-20

Dr Elizabeth Pender 

Dr Elizabeth Pender

University of Leeds

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My research area is Plato and Greek traditions of thought. I am interested in the development and significance of Greek philosophy in its specific cultural settings, particularly the intersections, from archaic to classical Greece, between Greek poetry and 'polis' values. For the Centenary commemorations of the First World War, these broader interests in political ideals led to a collaborative research project, ‘Classical Heroism in War and Peace 1914-24’, for which I am currently completing the collection, 'Classics and Classicists in World War One'. During my fellowship I will resume research on my book, 'Plato’s Poetic Allusions', continuing a study of Plato’s engagements in the 'Timaeus-Critias' with a range of Greek poets, including Homer, Hesiod, Empedocles and Solon. I am excited to explore how this new hymn to the universe fuses physics, metaphysics, religion and politics. My aim is to show how poetic allusions reveal Plato’s literary energy and purpose, as he creates an unparalleled artistic vision of the cosmos that encompasses and challenges centuries of philosophical and cultural debate.

Dates of visit: 15 August 2018 – 15 August 2019

Dr Maria Fragoulaki 

Dr Fragoulakis

Cardiff University

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During my stay at the ICS I will work on my current reseach projects, which involve: completion of the introduction on collective memory to my forthcoming co-edited volume Shaping Memory in Ancient Greece: Poetry, Historiography and Epigraphy, Histos Supplement 9; completion of a journal article on Athenian cleruchies; work on my second monograph, on Thucydides and Homer: Literary, Historical and Cultural Interactions. In collaboration with the Institute of Classical Studies, in April 2019 I will organise an international workshop on Thucydides’ modern reception, involving teaching, research and performance.

Dates of visit: 1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019

Dr Ruth Allen

I have recently completed a graduate curatorial internship at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and will be the J. Clawson Mills Scholar in the Department of Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from September 2019. During my stay at the ICS this year, I will be working on a revised thesis of my Ph.D. dissertation, ‘A cultural history of Roman engraved gemstones, their iconography, material, and function’. I am also preparing an article on the depiction of gemstones as border decoration in Roman wall painting for a forthcoming special issue of Arts on ancient Mediterranean painting. This argues that gemstones’ material properties, their colour, luminescence, and inherent ‘touch-capacity’, were central to how they were viewed and valued in antiquity, and that this made them powerful vehicles of enargeia when used as ornament in Roman frescoes.

Dates of visit: 1 November 2018 – 31 August 2019

Dr Angela Pola

Dr Angela Pola

Università degli Studi di Roma Unitelma Sapienza

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My research focuses on Etruscan red-figure ceramic and on its connection with the late 5th/4th century B.C. Attic production.
In particular, the Ager Faliscus has proven to be a particularly interesting case study for the characteristic of being the location of one of the most important ceramic productions of the whole Etruscan-Latium area. Strongly updated to the conquests of classical Greek art, this production acts as a vehicle for the diffusion in the Italic area of a new stylistic language and new models. The works of the first Faliscan painters are so similar to those of the contemporary Attic painters that can be suggested that this production is the work of migrated Attic craftsmen.
During my stay at the ICS, I will be working on the final draft of my monograph “La più antica produzione falisca a figure rosse” and I will be able to complete some articles on materials discovered in various excavations.

Dates of visit: 18 February 2019 - 31 December 2020

Professor Franco De Angelis 

Prof de Angelis

A.D. Trendall Fellow

University of British Columbia

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My research at the ICS will involve working on a new book re-examining the pre-Roman western Mediterranean between the 9th and 3rd centuries BC, especially Italy, its later historical centre. These centuries witnessed the conjoining of immigrant cultures and economies from the eastern Mediterranean (particularly Greeks and Phoenicians) with indigenous cultures of the western Mediterranean (particularly Etruscans and Sardinians). Modern scholarship has long been dominated by the view that the immigrants encountered a backwards western Mediterranean, and that the supposedly more sophisticated newcomers transferred their advanced cultures and economies to them. In the last generation, another view has challenged this narrative, thanks to the growth and interpretation of archaeological data in the western Mediterranean. More careful and systematic analyses have begun, without automatically attributing developments to eastern Mediterranean origins. Scholarly positions generally remain there, polarised, with historical narratives pulling in opposite directions. My research project seeks to find a reasoned middle ground and to bridge the scholarly and disciplinary divides, in order to do justice to the abundant evidence and its interpretation and to find a solution to the current scholarly impasse.

Dates of visit: 1 June 2019 - 31 August 2019

Dr Jane Draycott 

Jane Draycott

University of Glasgow

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Prostheses seem to have been utilised either during life or after death in a variety of civilisations for thousands of years. While the earliest surviving prosthesis has been dated to circa 5000 BC, and the earliest literary reference for one has been dated to circa 1500–1200 BC, it is not until the Graeco-Roman period that all types of evidence begin to proliferate. Yet to date this evidence has not received the sustained attention from historians or archaeologists necessary to enable either a diachronic or a synchronic study to be produced. During my stay at the ICS I shall be working on completing a monograph on prostheses, prosthesis use, and prosthesis users in classical antiquity. My aim to answer the following questions: how common – or uncommon – were prostheses? Who made them? How and why did they make them? Who used them? How and why did they use them? And how were they – and their prostheses – viewed by other members of ancient society as a result?

Dates of visit: 17 June 2019 - 16 August 2019

Dr Usama Gad 

Usama Gad

Ain Shams University

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Usama Gad joined the ICS on the 8th of July 2019 as a British Academy Visiting Fellow. During his stay he will be working with colleagues at the University of London to develop new research collaborations and deepen existing partnerships in the field of Digital Classics (DC). He will be conducting research in “Digital Classics in Arabic” with the aim of developing a concrete plan for a joint digital project between Ain Shams University (ASU) and ICS. He will also be writing a paper that serves as a conceptual framework or a rationale for his involvement in the field of DC and Digital Papyrology. Mr. Gad is a tenured lecturer of Classics and Papyrology in ASU Cairo. He has a PhD in Papyrology from Heidelberg University (Germany), an MA and a BA in Classics from ASU Cairo, and a BA in English Language and Literature as well as a B.Ed. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language both from al-Menofiya University (Egypt). To find out more about Usama Gad, his academic activities, collaboration, publications, etc., please visit his academia.edu (https://shams.academia.edu/UsamaGad) website and his blogs Classics in Arabic (http://classicsinarabic.blogspot.com/) and Everyday Orientalism (https://everydayorientalism.wordpress.com/).

Dates of visit: 8 July 2019 - 31 December 2019

Dr Maria Ángeles Alonso

Dr Maria Angeles Alonson

Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

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My research focuses on self-representation of medici in a funerary context, iconography and the construction of memory in the Roman world, the significance of collegia medicorum in Antiquity and the role of women in ancient medicine. At the ICS I will work on the project “Ars medica et memoria. Representation of medical and surgical instruments in funerary monuments of physicians in the Roman world (2nd century BC – 3rd century AD)”, with the intention of cataloguing and analysing gravestones of doctors that display medical tools and an epitaph. The methodological approach of the project thus involves decoding two levels of reading: a written text –denotative and conceptual– and an image –of symbolic nature and connotative. By studying the relationship between iconography and epigraphy, the central aim is to understand how physicians used the epigraphic instrument of communication and the representation of work instruments as a way of building their own memory in a given socio-cultural context.

Dates of visit: 1 September 2019 - 31 December 2019

Mr Brandon Braun 

University of California, Los Angeles

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I study monuments and memorials, with an interest in how particular memories are curated through the build up of monuments. Thus far in my PhD research, I have focused on how monuments of battles, whether on the battlefield or in sanctuary and city spaces, impact spaces while they themselves are impacted by their surroundings. I have restricted myself to battles in the classical period that have known battlefield monuments, such as the Persian Wars battles (Marathon, Salamis, etc.), Leuktra, and Chaeronea. For each of these, I also look at the landscape before the battlefield monuments (e.g. the relationship between the prehistoric tumuli and the Classical soros at Marathon) and long after (e.g. the depictions of Marathon in watercolours).

Dates of visit: 1 September 2019 - 31 July 2020

Dr Nicoletta Bruno

Dr Nicoletta Bruno

Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich

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The protagonists of the literary scene in Trajan’s Rome (Tacitus, Juvenal, Pliny the Younger) state that they are finally free and released from any form of intimidation, fear of persecution and censorship. However, they do not seem to be able to practice their vaunted freedom. Why do they choose the policy of ‘better-not-to-say’ about the present and insist speaking obsessively of the traumatic events of Domitian’s reign? My research aims to investigate the literary and historical phenomenon of the rhetorical strategy of reticence, from its origin to its use during Trajan’s reign. Moreover, I will focus on the different, ‘generic’ strategies deployed by intellectuals in order to avoid speaking about contemporary history. I will investigate whether those strategies constitute a literary feature in Roman literary history, and how they could be manipulated within individual texts and perceived by their readers (reader-response theory).

Dates of visit: 1 September 2019 - 31 January 2020

Dr Abigail Graham

Abigail Graham has a BA in Greek and Latin Language from Colgate University, and after attaining her M. Phil and D. Phil in Classical Archaeology from Oxford (Lincoln College). She has been a lecturer and teaching fellow at the University of Warwick for 10 years, where she taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses. Abigail is course coordinator of the Postgraduate Epigraphy Course at the British School in Rome (since 2012), and co-coordinator of the Practical Epigraphy Workshop (since 2015) for the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (Oxford), is a member of the editorial board for the “New Classicists” online journal.

She joins the ICS as a visiting fellow to focus on her research, which applies modern scholarship on cognitive theory and neuroscience to the appearance and perception of ancient monuments in the urban landscape (particularly in Asia Minor), including a monograph on “reading” monuments in Ephesus, and an co-edited volume on the cognitive experience of rituals. These works consider the presentation of writing in the urban landscape through different visual aspects such as paratext, bilingualism, erasures, copies, and collective monuments (e.g. lists and “archives”).

In the past, she has collaborated with Digital Humanities projects such as INSAPH (Inscriptions of Aphrodisias) and the EAGLE portal. In addition to articles and book chapters, she has written a primer on Roman history and material culture, “The Romans” (Routledge); the 4th edition of which is scheduled for publication at the end of 2019.

Dates of visit: 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020

Mr Manuel Alejandro González Muñoz

Mr González Muñoz

Pablo de Olavide University of Seville

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My doctoral research focuses on the significance of Italica as one of a group of ‘Hadrianic cities'. The emperor Hadrian, himself a provincial originating from Italica, set out to create a new common Panhellenic culture through a set of new measures (civic, political, social, cultural among others). The effects of this programme can be found in every one of a series of Hadrianic cities. My aim is to compare them in order to find what Hadrian really wanted to turn the Empire into, recognizing in the process the significance of Italica. This research forms part of the project ‘Hadrian and the integration of regional diversity’. During my stay at ICS I will be compiling data for my thesis.

Dates of visit: 2 September 2019 - 2 December 2019

Mr Cristian Blangetti

Mr Cristian Blangetti

Politecnico di Torino

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My research is focused on the study of theatres and amphitheatres of the Roman period in Great Britain. After a propaedeutic part to an adequate knowledge of the area of interest and its geographical features, in particular, the presence of "limes" due to the Empire border situation, the historiographical debate regards the triggering causes that led the Romans to conquer the island. In the single centres' analysis, we will see the overlap between what there was before, with the tribal populations, and how much will be brought with romanization, with a strong connection between the new Roman structure and what was previously built. During my stay at the Institute, I intend to finish the indexing and analyzing of the evolution of Roman cities with an in-depth study to identify, through theoretical and methodological postulates, correct conservation and enhancement strategies for roman theatres and amphitheatres in Great Britain.

Dates of visit: 14 September 2019 - 5 January 2020

Dr Mathura Umachandran 

Broadly speaking, my work is in classical reception in twentieth and contemporary century thought and culture. Trained as a classicist at Wadham College, Oxford (BA Lit Hum) and at Princeton (Phd) I am interested in theorizing classical reception and have a background in philosophy of history. I completed a dissertation entitled "Antiquity in Dark Times: Classical Reception in the thought of Erich Auerbach and Theodor Adorno". Most recently, I was a post-doctoral researcher on the Leverhulme funded project "Anachronism and Antiquity" project, based in the department of Classic in Oxford. At the Institute of Classical Studies, I will be working on my monograph that examines the reception of myth in the thought of the first generation of the Frankfurt school thinkers: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse. I am looking forward to taking advantage of the varied and interdisciplinary life of the intellectual community that the Institute of Classical Studies fosters. Beyond investigating how antiquity is operative at the birth of Critical Theory, I have also written on race and the formation of classical scholarship, the genesis of Weltliteratur and German philhellenism, and the reception of the Oresteia in the twentieth century.

Dates of visit: 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020

Dr Alberto Barrón Ruiz de la Cuesta

Dr Barrón Ruiz de la Cuesta

University of Cantabria (Santander, Spain)

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My research is centred upon Roman society in the Early Empire through the analysis of Latin Epigraphy. In particular, I am studying the position of the seviri Augustales in the Western Roman towns, the meaning of this institution as a tool for the promotion of wealthy freedmen and the characteristics and identity of its members. During my stay at the Institute of Classical Studies I will investigate the different aspects of the seviri Augustales in the northwestern border provinces of the Roman Empire (Noricum, Raetia, Germania superior, Germania inferior and Britannia). My goal will be the analytical compilation of the inscriptions related to the seviri Augustales, paying especial attention to their ways of self-representation and their evidences of geographic mobility. The study of these aspects could give us new clues about the commercial and political networks of prominent provincial freedmen, and about the possible existence of a group consciousness among the seviri Augustales.

Dates of visit: 23 October 2019 - 23 November 2019

Ms Nikoline Sauer

Ms Nikoline Sauer

Aarhus University

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My doctoral research focuses on “archaic” Rome. Profound changes occurred in Rome from the end of the seventh century BCE. The population and territory increased, urban planning was conducted and monumental public buildings were erected. Over the next one and a half centuries, in the period we know as the archaic period (end of the seventh century to the beginning of the fifth century BCE), these processes created a large, urbanised city, which laid the foundation stone of the renowned city of Rome. The aim of my research is, on the basis of archaeological evidence, to critically study this widely accepted assumption of formation and development of Rome in the archaic period. The subject will be investigated through four articles, which all have the site of the Forum of Caesar as their point of departure, as the research forms part of the project ‘Excavation of Julius Caesar’s Forum in Rome’. During my stay at the ICS, I will be working on the two last articles of my doctoral thesis.

Dates of visit: 1 March 2020 - 31 May 2020

Dr Edyta Gryksa

Dr Edyta Gryksa

University of Silesia, Poland

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I am a member of the research group leading a project entitled: "Cynegetica in the ancient world". My interests focus on hunting and pastoral poetry. During my stay at the ICS I will work on the Calpurnius Syculus’ Eclogues and their tradition. Furthermore, I will concentrate on the Grattius Faliscus’ Cynegetica. The above-mentioned didactic poem is a valuable source of information about ancient hunting (e.g. the best breeds of dogs and horses; equipment) and the relationship between man and animal. The main emphasis will be put on Grattius’ and Calpurnius’ literary sources and their poetic language.

Dates of visit: 18 April 2020 - 16 May 2020

Professor Ann Brysbaert

Ann Brysbaert

Dorothy Tarrant Fellow

Leiden University

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The SETinSTONE project, which I direct at Leiden University (ERC Consolidator Grant 2015-2020) aims to investigate human and natural resources which interacted in the core regions of Mycenaean Greece. There, elites mobilized these resources to implement their monumental building programmes. It seeks to reveal how and why these constructions were accomplished, and what impact such large-scale prolonged building programmes had on the population over time. During my stay at ICS, I aim to deepen our current understanding of labour rates and past perceptions of large-scale labour in prehistoric monumental building through investigating these issues in well-documented periods in the Greek and Roman history. Past written sources have contributed to this scholarship while Linear B for the Mycenaean period remains remarkably quiet on the matter. My focus will be on textual evidence and analyses of large-scale labour in monumental building processes, mining contexts and sourcing timber for ship building and construction. Ancient sources and modern scholarship on quarrying and transporting, but also on road construction, are relevant to prehistoric contexts: human and animal energy input are the same. Questions of seasonality play an important role and how such work was combined and integrated (or not) in the life rhythms of crop rearing and animals husbandry, and economics of trade and crafting in more general terms. This research will contribute to sections of a monograph in progress on the overall project.

Dates of visit: April 2020 - early July 2020

Professor Judith Evans-Grubbs

Judith Evans-Grubbs

Dorothy Tarrant Fellow

Emory University

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While at the ICS, I will be completing a book, Children without Fathers in Roman Imperial Law and Society: Paternity, Legitimacy and Freedom. This is a study of children who were "fatherless" according to Roman law and consequently at risk in a society whose foundation rested on the household headed by a paterfamilias and which lacked safety nets like orphanages or foster homes. My study is divided into two major parts: (1) on children defined as "illegitimate" by Roman law and in the larger Roman Mediterranean world; (2) children abandoned at birth (expositi), who, if they did not die within days, were often reared as slaves. As a social historian of the Roman imperial and late antique periods, I am particularly interested in how Roman legal categories intersected and conflicted with the lived reality of people in the Empire. I use not only laws, but also documentary texts like epitaphs, birth declarations, and nursing contracts to learn about the fate of such "fatherless" children and their place in society. I am looking forward to the opportunity to use the wonderful resources of the ICS, including the libraries, and to take part in seminars, conferences, and informal discussions with classical scholars in the London area and elsewhere in the UK.

Dates of visit: 1 May 2020 - 30 June 2020

Professor Johanna Hanink

Johanna Hanink

T.B.L. Webster Fellow

Brown University

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Modern narratives of the rise and fall of the Athenian empire have tended to treat the surviving dramatic texts themselves primarily as mines for historical details, and not to take the city’s dramatic institutions seriously as apparatus of the arkhe. My project, a monograph entitled The Drama of Empire: Theater, Power, and Performance in Classical Athens, seeks to restore the history of performance to the story of imperial Athens. It argues that Athenian drama was not merely a reflection of the empire, but was actually critical to Athens’ rapid success in securing, managing, and curating its hegemony in the fifth-century Aegean.

Dates of visit: May 2020 - June 2020

Professor Yulia Ustinova

Yulia Ustinova

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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Pride and Prejudice: Cognitive Harmony and Biased Thinking in Ancient Greece
The main aim of the research is to study biased opinions of the Greeks, especially when the convictions based on preconceptions were manifestly incorrect, and their error could be easily seen in antiquity. The immediate reasons behind these misconceptions were different, but they share a common denominator: these ideas created cognitive harmony, eliminating the dissonance between a prejudiced worldview and facts opposing it. Examples from different fields of knowledge demonstrate that bias was often present in the views of the Greeks, including prominent intellectuals, and these preconceptions affected not only their theory and understanding of reality, but social behaviour, as well.

Dates of visit: 1 June 2020 - 31 August 2020

Dr Ian Plant 

Dr Ian Plant

Macquarie University

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Authenticity and the representation of female voices
A major problem in dealing with Ancient Greek and Latin texts attributed to women is the question of authenticity. Alongside texts that are accepted now as genuine, are ones that are certainly pseudonymous; other texts exist of which the authenticity is disputed. In this project I will explore the creation of female voices in antiquity, focusing on examples of pseudonymous texts and texts of disputed authenticity. Some pseudonymous texts were, it seems, accepted as genuine in antiquity, whereas the authenticity of other texts was questioned and found problematic, adding complexity to the attempt to recover and understand the female voice in the Ancient Greek and Roman world.

Date of visit: October 2020