Workshop in Ancient Mediterranean Studies/Classical Tradition

The Workshop in Ancient Mediterranean Studies and the Classical Tradition (WAMS) draws on the large community of scholars with interests in the ancient world at UWM and surrounding institutions (e.g., Marquette, Wisconsin Lutheran, Carthage College) and builds on a tradition of interdisciplinary work that has long characterized the field of classical studies. WAMS offers a forum for debate and discussion, maintaining a broad disciplinary scope that we hope will attract scholars working on the ancient Mediterranean (not only Greece and Rome, but also the Near East, Egypt, North Africa, Northern Europe), as well those researchers with an interest in the interpretation and meaning of classical influence in later periods.

The foundations of many modern institutions are to be found in the literary and material culture of antiquity; the study of these formative processes, as well as the recognition of their historical development, is crucial to assessing their continued meaning in the present. By committing ourselves to a broad geographical and chronological scope, we acknowledge the multi-faceted dynamics of cultural encounters between center and periphery and past and present. Moreover, analysis of the reception and/or rejection of classical ideas in later periods offers an ideal opportunity to cross chronological boundaries and examine not only the diffusion, but also the transformation of literary, artistic, philosophical, and even religious ideas in new environments.

This workshop provides the opportunity for faculty to engage in critical dialogue by reading and discussing each other's work as well as reviewing and evaluating new directions in the study of the ancient world and its legacy. From a more practical point of view, the group also seeks to devise strategies to (1) promote the study of the ancient world and the classical tradition at UWM; (2) suggest initiatives for education outreach into the larger Milwaukee community; and (3) foster professional development and collaborative research projects among its members. The workshop meets two or three times each term.

At present, the group consists of faculty members drawn from four different departments already collaborating in such collective projects as the creation of an undergraduate Certificate Program in Ancient Mediterranean Studies. We expect this group to expand further with the participation of faculty from other areas (e.g., Philosophy, Communications, etc.) in addition to graduate students with a research interest in antiquity and/or its reception in later periods.

2014-15 Schedule

Friday, October 10, 2014
3:30 pm Curtin Hall 939
Dr. Michael Brumbaugh (Classics, Tulane)
“Kallimachos and the Politics of Apollo in Hellenistic Miletos”

Friday, November 14, 2014
3:30 pm Curtin Hall 939
Dr. Jean-Yves Marc (Roman Archaeology, Director of the Institute of Classical Archaeology, University of Strasbourg)
“A Great Imperial Sanctuary in Germania Superior: The Example of Mandeure”

Friday, February 27, 2015
3:30 pm Curtin Hall 939
Dr. William Brockliss (Classics, UW-Madison)
"The Green Fear of Death: Flowers, Fertility and Monstrousness in Homeric Poetry"

Dr. Brockliss's talk will survey the Homeric floral imagery of death, and argue that the imagery does not carry the sorts of associations with the brevity of life that we might expect from the Greek elegiac poets, or indeed from Anglophone poetry. Rather, it focuses on the concept of fertility, at times an extreme fertility. Drawing primarily on the work of Jean-Pierre Vernant, Dr. Brockliss hopes to show that this concept evokes the monstrous otherness of death, which Vernant associates in particular with the mask of the Gorgon.

Friday, April 17, 2015
3:30 pm Location TBD
Dr. Christelle Fischer-Bovet (Classics, University of Southern California)

Also of interest:

International Archaeology Day
October 18, 2014
“The Archaeology of Work: 9 to 5 in the Ancient World”

Archaeological Institute of America-Milwaukee Society
2014-2015 Lecture Series

Renee Calkins (Classics, UWM)
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