Every week the Center for Ancient Studies sends a list of events related to the ancient world in the Philadelphia area to interested members.

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Armed and Dangerous: An Iconography of Protective Middle and New Kingdom Demons
Saturday, 17 September 2016
3:30 PM
Kasia Szpakowska, Swansea University, Wales
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
One of the most obvious characteristics of Middle Kingdom iconography is the surfacing of new populations of beings, many of them creatively composite. They appear as both two and three-dimensional images on objects and as figurines themselves. Many are armed with weapons or potent religious icons, seemingly engaged in fierce warrior dances. During the New Kingdom, seemingly mundane household pieces of furniture also began to be decorated with strikingly similar imagery. However, these feature one remarkable transformation that is initially easily overlooked—they can wield weapons not only in their front or primary limbs, but also on their feet or secondary limbs. This particular idiosyncrasy is rare not only in Egyptian art but in the religious art of other cultures as well. The goal of creating all these representations in the first place was to make visible and tangible powerful liminal beings capable of efficiently dispatching a range of anxieties, terrors, and afflictions that troubled the Egyptians in their everyday life. To make these publicly accessible, our Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: 2K BC developed an online publicly accessible catalogue. Participants at the lecture will be introduced to this DemonBase: The Imaginal Realm of Ancient Egyptian Supernatural Beings. For a preview of the database, go to: http://www.demonthings.com/demonbase-ancient-egyptian-demons Admission: $10 for the general public, $7 for Penn Museum members and PennCard holders, $5 for students with ID, and free for ARCE members and children under 12.
Sponsored by: American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter


A Bioanthropology of Liberation
Monday, 19 September 2016
12:00 PM
Rachel Watkins, American University
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
There is a growing body of literature within bioanthropology that historically frames the process of acquiring and processing bodies to be included in US anatomical collections as structural violence. This framing is helpful in situating these collections (and the individuals therein) within the broader history of racism enacted upon African Americans, who make up a substantial portion of these samples. However, discussions stop short of self-critical reflections on current bioanthropological research and practices involving these collections that might also reflect forms of structural violence. This is part of a broader trend minimally including US anatomical collections in discussions regarding ethical issues and community engagement that include skeletal remains with a burial context. As a result, there is a way that skeletal remains without a burial context remain situated as research subjects in a way that those with a burial context do not. This discussion considers how the positioning of US anatomical collections reflects Blakey’s assertion that biological anthropology is minimally informed by cultural and historical literature. Scholarship rooted in Black feminist and African American studies is used to consider how these remains can and should be repositioned for inclusion in larger discussions about race, racism and the value of Black lives taking place today. This repositioning also opens up possibilities for these collections to be a part of discussions regarding repatriation, protection and public engagement.
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania


The Psychopathy of Alcibiades: Applying a Modern Psychological Construct to an Ancient Leader
Monday, 19 September 2016
4:00 PM
Norman Sandridge, Howard University
Connelly Center Villanova Room, Villanova University
Sponsored by: Classical Studies Program, Villanova University


Plants, Animals, and People Archaeobiology Discussion Group
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
12:00 PM
Penn Museum Room 328, University of Pennsylvania
Are you working on food? Ecology? Land use? Join interested students, faculty, and researchers for lively lunchtime discussion of foodways, foraging, and farming. We meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Participants may, for example, choose a book chapter or article for group discussion. If you have any questions, contact KM Moore: kmmoore@upenn.edu or NF Miller: nmiller0@upenn.edu. For previous discussion topics and readings, go to the website: www.sas.upenn.edu/~nmiller0/pap.html Tuesday meetings scheduled for Fall, 2016 from Noon–1 PM September 20; October 4, 18; November 1, 15; December 6


The Bible in the Book of Hours
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
5:30 PM
Roger Wieck, The Morgan Library
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Room 626, University of Pennsylvania
A meeting of the “Reading the Bible in History” reading group. This week is a discussion, lead by Roger Wieck, on the relationship between medieval Books of Hours and the Bible.
Sponsored by: Reading the Bible in History Reading Group, University of Pennsylvania


Archaeological Research at Selinunte
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
6:00 PM
Clemente Marconi, New York University
Institute of Fine Arts Lecture Hall, New York City
This lecture is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required.
Sponsored by: IFA at NYU


Rebooting Antiquity: How Holy Wars, Media Hype, and Digital Technologies Are Changing the Face of 21st Century Archaeology
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
6:15 PM
Neil Asher Silberman, Contributing Editor, Archaeology Magazine
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania
There’s a revolution happening today in the way we value, discover, and imagine the past. On the negative side, ancient sites by the thousands—not only in the Middle East but all over the world—are being bulldozed, looted, vandalized, or blown up or merely vandalized. Feature films, bestsellers and specialized cable documentaries hopelessly muddle archaeological fiction and fact. Yet on the positive side, advanced satellite imagery and LIDAR sensors are uncovering complex civilizations in deserts and jungles where none were assumed ever to exist. Virtual reality environments and 3d digital reconstructions are now used both for scientific documentation and immersive museum experiences. And the sheer social reach of Facebook, Twitter, and research-by-crowdsourcing is offering archaeologists unprecedented opportunities to engage the general public in their work. This illustrated lecture will highlight some recent discoveries and ongoing controversies in the Americas, Europe, and Asia that exemplify the dramatic new directions that archaeology is taking in our globalized, internet age. Please use the Kress Entrance on east side of the Museum.
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America, Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania


The Visualization of Political Rhetoric in the Reign of Nerva
Thursday, 22 September 2016
4:30 PM
Nathan T. Elkins, Baylor University
McCormick Hall Room 106, Princeton University
History remembers Nerva, who ruled from September AD 96 to January AD 98, as the Roman emperor who adopted the popular general Trajan as his heir. Nerva’s adoption of Trajan added stability to his own principate as he was unpopular with the army, which had great affection for Domitian. Unlike the Flavians and Trajan, Nerva’s principate left little in the way of public building and monumental art in view of his short reign and thus there is little to assess the “self-representation” of Nerva’s regime. The most complete record of state-sanctioned art from Nerva’s reign is, however, the imperial coinage. But the coinage has been primarily studied with the biases of later historical sources in mind and is thus commonly characterized as “hopeful” or “apologetic.” State-sanctioned art did not operate this way; it always presented the emperor in a positive light. A reinterpretation of Nerva’s imperial coinage is thus in order and informs our understanding political ideals and messages disseminated during the emperor’s reign. My work on Nerva contextualizes the imagery on Nerva’s coinage within the political culture and rhetoric of the day. For example, many of the same qualities for which the emperor is praised by contemporaries such as Martial, Pliny, Tacitus, and Frontinus, also appears on Nerva’s coinage: e.g., Aequitas, Iustitia, and Libertas. In Nerva’s day, personifications of imperial ideals comprised the majority of images on the coinage. Although often ignored or dismissed as repetitive or boring by modern scholars, the generic quality of the imagery communicated broad ideals that allowed the viewer to find whatever relevance he wished in the images. This made personifications some of the potent visual communicators. For example, Libertas on the coinage might have denoted freedom from Domitian’s tyranny to a senator who had feared accusations of maiestas or evasion of the fiscus Iudaicus, but to a commoner in the Italian countryside she might have connoted freedom from any of the various tax burdens reformed by Nerva. Close study of the imagery on Nerva’s coinage suggests that those who formulated the iconography in the mint walked in the same social circles as prominent senators and equestrians who associated with the emperor and who participated in the culture of adulation. The study thus illuminates issues surrounding the selection and formulation of Roman coin iconography and its relationship to political rhetoric.
Sponsored by: AIA, Princeton


“Sophia" and "Epistēmē" in the Archaic and Classical Periods
Thursday, 22 September 2016
4:30 PM
David Wolfsdorf, Temple University
Cohen Hall Room 402, University of Pennsylvania
The paper is a forthcoming chapter in the four-volume Bloomsbury History of Epistemology, volume one of which is devoted to antiquity. The paper examines philosophical use of the terms "sophia" and "epistēmē" in relation to one another from their earliest occurrences among the Presocratics through Aristotle. The discussion however begins before the philosophers, with the Archaic poets. The pre-philosophical use of "sophia" in particular helps to explain the philosophers' adaptation and employment of the terms.
Sponsored by: Department of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania


Facing East From Indian Waters: The Maritime & Global Turn in Native American History
Thursday, 22 September 2016
6:00 PM
Andrew Lipman, Barnard College
Barnard Hall Sulzberger Parlor 3rd Floor, Barnard College
Increasingly, scholars are finding that Native American history does not stop at the water’s edge. New and forthcoming work suggests that our old vision of the Native past as a grounded, territorial story is incorrect: from first contact onwards, indigenous people traveled the world and shaped events far from American shores. Ranging from the Pacific to the Arctic to the Caribbean to the Atlantic, the true history of indigenous mariners, whalers, diplomats, and pirates challenges our understanding of how Native people responded to and participated in European global expansion. Andrew Lipman is an assistant professor of history at Barnard College and the author of the award-winning book The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast.


The World of Egypt's Elephantine Island: Recent Discoveries and New Approaches
Thursday, 22 September 2016
6:00 PM
Verena Lepper, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
ISAW Second Floor Lecture Hall,
The inhabitants of the first-cataract Nile Island Elephantine comprised a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious community, which has left behind large amounts of written material in addition to the archaeological remains. The first results of a larger project accessing these papyri from Elephantine Island will be presented in this lecture, using also up to date (virtual) unfolding techniques. No other settlement in Egypt has been so well documented over such a long period of time through its texts, which provide evidence of everyday life from the Old Kingdom right up to the era following the Arab conquest. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please visit isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp
Sponsored by: ARCE, ISAW


Opening the boxes… New Elephantine Papyri from four millennia
Friday, 23 September 2016
2:00 PM
Verena Lepper, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Scheide Caldwell House Room 209, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Program in the Ancient World, Princeton


Violence at the Dawn of History: Violence and State Power in Early Mesopotamia
Friday, 23 September 2016
4:00 PM
Steven J. Garfinkle, Western Washington University
Weaver Building Room 102, Penn State University
Our earliest historical records come from ancient Mesopotamia, where writing first appeared at the end of the fourth millennium BC. From the beginning, violence and warfare played a prominent role in the written record. Cuneiform tablets and monuments chronicled the tribute and booty from successful campaigns, along with the development of royal rhetoric about state power This presentation explores the ways in which violence accompanied state formation in early Mesopotamia from the beginning of the third millennium BC down to the middle of the second millennium BC, with a particular focus on the tributary nature of these early states and their relationship to violence both at home and beyond their borders.
Sponsored by: Department of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Penn State


‘Comic Books’ in Greco-Roman Antiquity
Friday, 23 September 2016
4:30 PM
Antonio Stramaglia, Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale
Rhys Carpenter Library Room B21, Bryn Mawr College
Sponsored by: Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College


Plantation Water-ways: The Politics of Water in an 18th Century Racialized Landscape
Monday, 26 September 2016
12:00 PM
Mark Hauser, Northwestern University
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
Recent headlines about Michigan, California, and India, have disabused a public conventional wisdom that water is free of charge. Cases such as these, where human needs directly compete with institutional forces, are not new. Water, as a substance essential to production and reproduction in 18th Caribbean plantations, created a predicament, the resolution of which was unevenly borne by human beings held as slaves. Building on Barbara Voss' concept, the 'meso-scale' (2008), and Maria Zedeno's (2009) insights about index objects, I present an assemblage-based analysis of slave life comparing ‘water-ways’ at two plantations occupied during Dominica's brief sugar boom (1760-1830). I combine material characteristics of objects used to capture and transform water with their biographies in a landscape, circulations in peripheral flows, and supporting roles in social relations. Pottery and glass used to store, capture, and serve water were part of the creative strategies used by enslaved laborers to resolve some of the predicaments of slavery. At the same time, they created predicaments of their own as media for some of the cultural politics that supported plantation colonies. As such, a focus on water-ways allows us to examine exclusionary forces such regulation, markets, violence and legitimation, at the human scale.
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania


A Reconsideration of the Pythia’s Use of Lots at Delphi: Nymphs, Dice, and Second Chances
Monday, 26 September 2016
4:30 PM
Lisa Maurizio, Bates College
East Pyne Room 010, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics at Princeton University


On the Biography of One Manuscript: A 12th c. Qur'an Copy in the Penn Museum Collections
Monday, 26 September 2016
5:15 PM
Renata Holod, University of Pennsylvania
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Class of 1978 Pavilion Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania
Those who do not hold University of Pennsylvania ID cards should bring another form of photo identification in order to enter the library building.
Sponsored by: Workshop in the History of Material Texts, Penn


More Participation, Less Observation: On Innovative Recitations
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
12:00 PM
Meg Kassabaum, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Teaching and Learning, Penn


Athenian Prostitution: The Business of Sex
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
6:00 PM
Edward Cohen, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum , University of Pennsylvania
Athenian Prostitution: The Business of Sex, will discuss male and female prostitution at Athens, and explore why the sale of sex –– lawful and pervasive in the classical city, presented alluringly in some of our sources –– evoked negativity from Greeks uncomfortable with carnality and/or commerce. Prof. Cohen will contrast legislation punishing governmental leaders who had functioned as male prostitutes with the high compensation earned by female sexual entrepreneurs. Finally, he will examine the seemingly contradictory phenomena of extensive sexual exploitation of slave prostitutes (male and female) coexisting with Athenian society's pride in its legislative protection of slaves and minors against sexual outrage. Free Lecture. Register through Penn Museum: http://www.classics.upenn.edu/events/athenian-prostitution-business-sex


Women’s Ways of Knowing: A Phenomenology of Mirrors in Ancient Greece
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
12:30 PM
Mireille Lee, Vanderbilt University
Thomas Library Room 224, Bryn Mawr College
Sponsored by: Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr College


Hybridity in Practice: Understanding Material Culture in Colonial Situations
Thursday, 29 September 2016
4:30 PM
Peter Van Dommelen, Brown University
Cohen Hall Room 402, University of Pennsylvania


Death and Taxes? Economy, Society and the Imperial State in Babylonia in the Sixth Century BCE
Thursday, 29 September 2016
6:00 PM
Michael Jursa, University of Vienna
ISAW Second Floor Lecture Hall,
In the first half of the sixth century BCE, Babylonia experienced rapid economic development and increasing prosperity. Focusing in particular on the role of resource extraction and distribution by the state, the lecture explores the causes that led to this "golden interval," as J. Maynard Keynes termed such rare breaks in the (supposed) monotony of pre-industrial economic development. The talk will also look at how the changes in the core area of the Babylonian empire are reflected in its periphery, and it will investigate the consequences of increasing prosperity for social cohesion within Babylonia.
Sponsored by: ISAW


Aristophanes and Politics
Friday, 30 September 2016
Schermerhorn Hall Room 612, Columbia University
http://www.centancmed.org/ The program will include a variety of speakers from across the US and abroad, including: Stephen Halliwell • Jeffrey Henderson • Olimpia Imperio • Carina de Klerk • S. Sara Monoson • Robin Osborne • Nina Papathanasopoulou • Ralph Rosen • Ian Ruffell • Suzanne Saïd • Elizabeth Scharffenberger • Donald Sells • Deborah Steiner • Mario Telò
Sponsored by: Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Columbia, The Onassis Foundation (USA)


The Materiality of Scientific Knowledge
Friday, 30 September 2016
Van Pelt Library Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania
Throughout the long history of scientific investigation, ideas were developed, shared, and validated through various print and art forms. These material factors—the conditions of writing, printing, and illustration—underwrite the exchange and sharing of scientific knowledge from classical antiquity to the nineteenth century. This symposium will investigate the myriad, often contradictory vocabularies we use to analyze images and text in scientific writing. Its goal is to promote more fruitful interdisciplinary, collaborative work in the history of scientific thought. http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/scientific_knowledge.html
Sponsored by: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, Penn, Penn Humanities Forum, Rare Book School, UVA


The Mechanics of Extraction: Comparing Principles of Taxation and Tax Compliance in the Ancient World
Friday, 30 September 2016
ISAW Second Floor Lecture Hall,
Friday and Saturday, September 30-October 1, 2016 Institute for the Study of the Ancient World 15 East 84th Street, Second Floor Lecture Hall 212.992.7800 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 9:30am Introductory Remarks 9:40am A State of Extraction: Navigating Taxation in Ancient Polities Jonathan Valk (ISAW) 10:05am Taxing Questions: Financing the Chinese Bronze Age Roderick Campbell (ISAW) 10:30am Discussion 10:50am Coffee Break 11:20am Co-option and Patronage: The Mechanics of Extraction in Southern Mesopotamia under the Third Dynasty of Ur Steven Garfinkle (Western Washington University) 11:45am Taxation, Aristocratic Autonomy, and Theories of Reciprocity in the Iranian Empire Richard Payne (University of Chicago) 12:10pm Discussion 12:30pm Lunch Break 1:30pm The Taxation Systems of the Late Bronze Age Aegean Dimitri Nakassis (University of Colorado, Boulder) 1:55pm Liberty and Duty in Late Bronze Age States Eva von Dassow (University of Minnesota) 2:20pm Taxation in Hittite Anatolia Lorenzo d’Alfonso (ISAW) 2:45pm Discussion 3:10pm Tea Break 3:40pm Taxation in Anglo-Saxon England: Archaeological and Historical Approaches Pamela Crabtree (NYU) 4:05pm Fiscal Transition in Early China: From Warring States to Empires (Late 4th–1st Century B.C.) Maxim Korolkov (Columbia University) 4:30pm Discussion SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 10:00am Choice Constraints in Ancient Egyptian Taxation Brian Muhs (University of Chicago) 10:25am Taxation under Alexander the Great Andrew Monson (NYU) 10:50am Discussion 11:10am Coffee Break 11:40am The Fiscality of Foreign Relations in the Roman Republic James Tan (Hofstra University) 12:05pm Theory and Practice of Tax Extraction in the Later Roman Empire Gilles Bransboug (American Numismatic Society/ISAW) 12:30pm Discussion 12:50pm Lunch Break 1:40pm Maldito parné: Changes and Limits of Royal Taxation in Pharaonic Egypt Juan Carlos Moreno García (CNRS Paris) 2:05pm Intensifying Extraction: The Fiscal Policy of Rome in Third Century Egypt Irene Soto (ISAW) 2:30pm Discussion 2:50pm Tea Break 3:20pm Concluding Remarks This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please note that separate registration is required for each day of the workshop: September 30th (9:30am-5:00pm) and October 1st (10:00am-4:00pm). To register, please visit isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp.
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU Center for Ancient Studies, Department of Classics, NYU


‘Magic in the Ancient World’ Exhibit Discussion
Friday, 30 September 2016
12:00 PM
Bob Ousterhout and Grant Frame, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania


Old City, New Questions: Some Preliminary Results from the Olynthos Project, 2014-2016
Friday, 30 September 2016
4:30 PM
Lisa Nevett, University of Michigan
Rhys Carpenter Library Room B21, Bryn Mawr College
C. Densmore Curtis Lecture
Sponsored by: Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College


Amala Shrines: Analogy and Homology in Indian Symbolism
Friday, 30 September 2016
5:00 PM
Michael Meister, University of Pennsylvania
Jaffe Building Room 113, University of Pennsylvania


Race, Mix, Excess: Philippine Elites and the Semiotics of Coloniality
Monday, 3 October 2016
12:00 PM
Angela Reyes, Hunter College
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
This talk explores how notions of “mix” and “excess” relate to the ongoing renewal of colonial orders in the postcolony. It looks to the historical and contemporary context of the Philippines to examine how ideas about race and language get linked to elite social figures and how one elite figure in particular—the “conyo”—is reportedly heard and seen by a listening subject that is constituted as anxious and moral. Taking a semiotic approach to questions of coloniality, this talk focuses on how qualities of people and language become “iconized”—that is, stand in a relationship of resemblance to one another—in a manner that makes mixed and excessive qualities seem to inhere naturally in the conyo figure and register. This talk considers how creating distinctions among Philippine social types produces interior alterities that sustain colonial hierarchies: positioning elites “as” colonists whose supposedly mixed and excessive qualities are regarded as foreign, overly modern, and a national betrayal.
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania


A Thoroughly Modern Major: Photography, Identity, and Politics at the Court of Hyderabad, India
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
12:30 PM
Deborah Hutton, The College of New Jersey
Thomas Library Room 224, University of Pennsylvania
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the rapidly-changing courtly culture of the Indo-Islamic state of Hyderabad coalesced around the qualities of cosmopolitanism, hospitality, and sportsmanship. This talk unpacks the role photography played in defining that culture. It will do so by focusing on the Nizam of Hyderabad’s charismatic aide-de-camp, Sir Afsur ul-Mulk, both a prolific patron and celebrated subject of photography. As someone whose image can be read as simultaneously fulfilling and subverting social expectations, Sir Afsur allows us to rethink how categories such as race, religion, and “traditional” courtly culture have been constructed vis-à-vis modernity and modern visuality, as well as how the medium of photography was tied to the growth of a visual culture of “celebrity.”
Sponsored by: Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr College


Are We Rome?: Ancient and Contemporary Approaches toward the Iconography of War and Triumph
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
4:30 PM
C. Brian Rose, University of Pennsylvania
Science Center Cunniff Lecture Hall 199, Swarthmore College
This lecture will consider the designs of war memorials in both antiquity and the twentieth century, concentrating on the evolving iconography of power, conflict, and lamentation. The focus is on memorials constructed during the Greek and Roman periods, as well as those that have been erected in the last fifty years. Iconographic elements from Classical antiquity frequently appear in twentieth-century designs, but we have entered a new period in the formulation of triumphal monuments, wherein artistic responses to violence, identity, and memory are very different from what one would have experienced in antiquity.
Sponsored by: Department of Classics, Swarthmore College


TBA
Thursday, 6 October 2016
4:30 PM
Duncan Kennedy, Bristol University
East Pyne Room 010, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics at Princeton University


The Modernity of Sculpture
Saturday, 8 October 2016
9:00 AM
McCormick Hall Room 106, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University


'Chilam Balam, a native of the Yucatan…’: Racial Capitalism and the Caste War of Yucatán
Monday, 10 October 2016
12:00 PM
David Kazanjian, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
In this talk—from my recently published monograph The Brink of Freedom—I track the role the nineteenth-century Yucatán played in Cedric Robinson’s influential theory of racial capitalism. Drawing on Robinson’s own seemingly incidental reference in Black Marxism to Chilam Balam, a legendary Maya prophet, I unsettle his “red to black” narrative, which presumes that enslaved Afro-diasporans replaced exterminated indigenous people as the principle racialized labor force in the Americas. I show how the frequent appearance of the figure of Chilam Balam throughout the nineteenth-century—in Maya texts, in the archeological and anthropological research of Karl Hermann Berendt, and in the writings of Yucatec Creole intellectual Justo Sierra O’Reilly—indexes the complex articulations of African-descended people and indigenous people. Viewed from the perspective of the figure of Chilam Balam and the racialized dynamics of the Caste War conjuncture, I argue for what Jack Forbes might have called a red-black theory of racial capitalism.
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania


Ancient Sardis: Between East and West
Monday, 10 October 2016
3:00 PM
Anderson Hall Room 821, Temple University
A one-day colloquium with the following speakers: Dr. Annetta Alexandridis, Cornell University: “What’s in a name? What’s in a box? What’s in a pot? Locals and immigrants in Hellenistic-Roman Sardis“ Dr. Jane DeRose Evans, Temple University: “Ritual deposits, votive behavior and magical practices at Sardis“ Dr. Theresa Huntsman, Harvard University: “Archaeology in Transition: Digital Recording at Sardis”
Sponsored by: Department of Greek and Roman Classics, Temple University


How to Make an Inca Mummy: Inventing a Science of Global Antiquity and Vanishing the Sovereign Peruvian Dead, 1532-1792
Monday, 10 October 2016
3:30 PM
Chris Heaney, The Pennsylvania State University
Cohen Hall Room 337, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Department of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania


The Cairo Geniza and the Lost Medieval Arabic Archive
Monday, 10 October 2016
5:15 PM
Marina Rustow, Princeton University
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Class of 1978 Pavilion Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania
Those who do not hold University of Pennsylvania ID cards should bring another form of photo identification in order to enter the library building.
Sponsored by: Workshop in the History of Material Texts, Penn


The Dawn of Christian Art in Panel Paintings and Icons
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
5:00 PM
Thomas Mathews, IFA at NYU
McCormick Hall Room 101, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University


Listening for Women’s Voices in Embroidered Kanthas
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
4:30 PM
Pika Ghosh, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Van Pelt Class of 1955 Conference Room (241), University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: South Asia Center


Cross-cultural Relationships in Archaic Sicily: Modern Expectations and the Interpretation of Material Culture
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
4:30 PM
Clemente Marconi, IFA at NYU
East Pyne Room 010, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Program in the Ancient World, Princeton


TBA
Thursday, 13 October 2016
7:00 PM
Eva Mroczek, University of California at Davis
Cohen Hall Second-Floor Lounge, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania


Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book 1: How much is Stoic and how much is Roman?
Friday, 14 October 2016
11:00 AM
Christopher Gill, Exeter University
Italian Academy 5th floor Seminar Room, Columbia University
Sponsored by: Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Columbia


A Vase Shape as a Marker of Identity: A Case Study from 4th Century BC Apulia
Friday, 14 October 2016
12:00 PM
Tom Carpenter, Ohio University
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania


Crafts and Consumerism in Predynastic Egypt
Saturday, 15 October 2016
3:30 PM
Emily Teeter, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
Artifacts of the Predynastic Period (ca. 4500-3100 BC) have the potential to tell us much about life and society in the era before writing. Changing styles of stone vessels, the decoration of painted pottery, and the choice of specific materials all attest to early consumerism, links between craftsmen and the market, and to claims of status through personal possessions. The rich archaeological record documents an ancient society marked by surprising similarities to today’s consumerism.
Sponsored by: American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter, Archaeological Institute of America


Legacies of Multi-Racial Slavery in the Middle East
Monday, 17 October 2016
12:00 PM
Eve Troutt Powell, University of Pennsylvania
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania


Archaeological Expedition to Sinop, Turkey: Exploring the Origins of Trade at the Nexus of Eurasia
Monday, 17 October 2016
4:30 PM
Owen Doonan, California State University, Northridge
McCormick Hall Room 106, Princeton University
Sponsored by: AIA, Princeton


Seeing Citizens: re-reading the ring of Gyges' ancestor in Plato's Republic
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
4:30 PM
Emily Greenwood, Yale University
East Pyne Room 010, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics at Princeton University, Council of the Humanities, Princeton University