Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows 2021-22

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 Yun Lee Too

Dr Yun Lee Too

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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

Dr Dustin Dixon

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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

Ms María Fernández Portaencasa

María Fernández Portaencasa

Carlos III University, Madrid

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During my stay at the Institute of Classical Studies, I will be continuing work on my PhD thesis, which is focused on the concept and characteristics of conversion and religious changes during Late Antiquity in Roman North Africa. My thesis is framed within the four-year research project ‘Lived Ancient Religion in North Africa’ (LARNA) led by Dr. Valentino Gasparini at the University Carlos III, Madrid and funded by the Autonomous Community of Madrid (2018-2022), Talent Attraction Program (2017-T1/HUM-5709). This project does not investigate elements of coherence and homogeneity within an allegedly shared religious worldview, but instead concerns itself with particularities, discrepancies and distortions within situational contexts. The research aims to explore how, in the Roman provinces of North Africa, local religious preferences were strongly influenced by shifting social networks, changing over time according to specific historical contexts.

Dates of visit: 20 August 2021 – 20 September 2021

Dr Katherine Kelaidis

Dr Katherine Kelaidis

National Hellenic Museum, Chicago

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Katherine Kelaidis is Resident Scholar and Director of Academic Collaborations at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. Her broad research interests include Classical Reception Studies, Orthodox Christian Studies, and digital humanities. She holds a B.A. in Classical Languages from University of California at Berkeley and and a Ph.D. in Classics from Royal Holloway College, University of London.

Dates of visit: 1 September 2021 - 1 March 2022

Dr Nicoletta Bruno

Dr Nicoletta Bruno

University of Bari Aldo Moro

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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: 1 November 2021 - 30 November 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 October 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)