Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows 2020-21

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

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 Gil Gambash 

Gil Gambash

University of Haifa

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Gil Gambash is a classical historian, studying the ancient Mediterranean. He is the co-founder and director of the Haifa Center for Mediterranean History. He spends the year 2020 at the ICS as a Leverhulme visiting scholar, working on ecological perspectives of Mediterranean societies. His current project focuses on arid areas and their interaction with the maritime sphere, seeking to explain modes of primary production, habits of consumption, and economic dependencies. The launching point of the project will be the southern Levantine Negev, and its dominant wine industry, which relied on carefully devised runoff farming. During his fellowship he will deliver several lectures in relevant UK departments, and coordinate, with Prof. Greg Woolf, the ICS History Seminar of autumn 2020. Dr Gambash will continue as a Visiting Fellow following his term as a Leverhulme Fellow.

Dates of visit: January - August 2021

Dr Brikena Shkodra-Rrugia 

Dr Brikena Shkodra-Rrugia

Academy of Albanological Studies, Institute of Archaeology,Tiranë, Albania

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My research focuses on the study of stratigraphic contexts, as the main basis of archaeological data for recognizing and analyzing the city in late antiquity. The comprehensive study of several contexts from Dyrrachium (Albania) has aimed to identify the formation processes of stratigraphy in order to understand the transformation of the city in this transitional period. Through the study of ceramic vessels, on the other hand, my work focuses on identifying the forms of organization of local production as well as the mechanisms of trade and distribution of imported products. The work associated with an important Adriatic port city enables the research on the economic role and position of Dyrrachium in this region. As it is also aiming at the study of local products in relation to imports. The main purpose of working with stratigraphic contexts relates to the identification and analysis of urban transformations as well as of the context of use of the urban area during the very complex period of the late Roman and Early Byzantine periods. These objectives are part of the long-term research project "Dyrrachium in Late Antiquity".

Dates of visit: 1 September 2020 – 31 December 2020; 1 October 2021 - 31 December 2021

Dr Youssri Abdelwahed 

Dr Youssri Abdelwahed

Minia University

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Over the past two decades, a number of studies have been published in hope of better understanding the daily life activities of the house occupants in Graeco-Roman Egypt, a highly rich province in both archaeological and textual evidence. My research project attempts to identify different forms and causes of violent behaviour committed by or against the house occupants in the light of Greek papyri uncovered from Graeco-Roman Egypt. It also deals with the location of different forms of violent behaviour in relation to the spatial and physical arrangement of the house. It simply argues that the house was not a safe place in Graeco-Roman Egypt, where violence was one of the expressions of social interaction between the house occupants and their partners or other inhabitants. The timespan of the research project extended from the foundation of the Ptolemaic Dynasty in 305 BC to the official recognition of Christianity in AD 325. During my stay at the Institute of Classical Studies, I intend to finish a monograph on domestic violence in Graeco-Roman Egypt based on Greek papyri, literary evidence, and relevant literature. Once finished, I intend to l submit it for publication by BAR.

Dates of visit: 1 September 2020 - 31 March 2021 - POSTPONED

Professor Ralf Behrwald 

Prof. Ralf Behrwald

University of Bayreuth

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During my stay in London, I shall be investigating the symbolic rôle and function of foreigners in imperial Rome. The demography of Rome's non-citizen population recently has been studied intensively; departing from this research, I want to include questions of imperial self-representation, but also the impact of cosmopolitanism on the ways foreigners were incorporated in - or excluded from - the public life in imperial Rome. At the same time, different models of being foreign in imperial Rome - integration, separation, but also rôle-switching according to different contexts, will come into view. It is my hope to come into contact with other researchers in London sharing my interest in the various facets of being a legal alien in an imperial capital.

Dates of visit: 7 September 2020 - 31 March 2021

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 - POSTPONED

Dr Yun Lee Too

While at the ICS, I will be working on a project entitled Selfish Matters: Material Contexts of Identity, Agency, and Authorship in Ancient Greece with Prof. Thomas Blank and Dr. Giulia Maltagliati. This project aims to rethink the sources of human identity by reintegrating its roots in the material world. It does so by analysing the ways in which the material world is represented explicitly or implicitly in statements about personal, particularly authorial, identity and agency from the archaic period to the Hellenistic age. From the perspectives of New Materialism, this project (re)historicises the explicit and implicit presence of matter in the construction and expression of personal and social identities in Ancient Greece, thus focusing not simply on the agency of objects, but on the impact that the material world has on the very concept of agency.

Dates of visit: 24 February 2021 - 23 February 2022

Professor Dustin Dixon

Dustin Dixon is Assistant Professor of Classics at Grinnell College. His research focuses on ancient drama, fragmentary texts, performance, and classical receptions. His co-authored first book, Performing Gods in Classical Antiquity and the Age of Shakespeare, explores the dynamics of depicting classical divinities onstage in ancient Greece and Rome and in early modern England. While at the ICS, he will work on his next book on the fragments of Greek and Roman mythological comedy. Looking beyond the treatment of myth in the preserved plays of Aristophanes, he investigates how the comic poets dealt with the dense literary history of the mythological past to position comedy as the genre best suited to meet the needs of their audiences.

Dates of visit: 21 June 2021 - 20 August 2021

Dr Lorenzo Pérez Yarza

Dr Lorenzo Perez Yarza

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

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My research focuses on religious epigraphy from the Latin west of the Roman Empire. I am particularly interested in the religious interaction among cults and specific groups of population as a way to study cultural interaction in religion. I have studied different types of solar worship in the Roman Empire and now I am looking to broaden my research. During my stay at the Institute of Classical Studies, I aim to finish the study of some Roman dedications to Sol in Britain and I want to explore strategies of human agency. In particular, I am working on trends of divine invocation during the Empire and the dynamics of onomastic sequences put in context. The variety in naming the divine from repeated formulae to individual choices can help us to understand patterns of verbalising religious experience. Specifically, I focus on particular backgrounds such as Syrian soldiers to understand how markers of religious expression developed, and how they could convey identity and self-representation in the epigraphic display..

Dates of visit: 19 July 2021 - 20 August 2021

Dr Nicoletta Bruno

Dr Nicoletta Bruno

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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I am currently working on an interdisciplinary research project on the role of the Archaiologíai and Kulturgeschichte inside the literary works (from Thucydides to Seneca), the narrative techniques used by the authors, the different temporal perspectives in the storytelling and the use of analogy that links selected texts. In the early cultural histories there are usually recurrent common motifs and considerations on the progress and evolution of mankind or analogies with the author’s time.
During my stay at the ICS, I intend to write an essay entitled “Mankind and Mother Earth: Lucretius, Seneca and the philosophical meaning of the universal history”. Despite the dissimilarities in philosophical approaches, discussions and judgements on the history of progress and decline of civilization, Lucretius and Seneca seem to believe in the usefulness of a universal history of mankind only if inserted in the natural history of the world.

Dates of visit: 30 September 2021 - 31 December 2021

Dr Coré Ferrer-Alcantud

Dr Core Ferrer-Alcantud

Universitat Jaume I of Castellón

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Coré Ferrer-Alcantud works on Roman Social History and Women. Using performativity as a research method, she has analysed Roman society and politics in terms of identity and alterity, broadening her investigation from gender to further attributes of identity including ethnicity, age, and socio-economic status. Her present research has expanded into culture-contact studies, imaginary and folklore, social exclusion, and forced mobility. She is currently writing a monograph which considers republican Rome’s hectic politics in respect of the involvement of women along with new ways of power. Coré is also surveying gender on the eastern coast of Hispania and is pursuing a CPD in 3D modelling and rendering as part of two Spanish research projects in which she participates.

Dates of visit: 1 October 2021 - 31 December 2021 (postponed from 1 March 2021 - 30 June 2021)