Michele Valerie Ronnick is a Professor at the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Wayne State University, and Curator of the exhibition ’14 Black Classicists’ which will be on at the ADA Museum and the UCSB Library from Jan 14th to April 30th.
For many years only well-born Americans had access to a classically–based liberal arts education. But after the Civil War newly freed slaves aspired to the same. Thus arose black classicists who studied and taught Greek and Latin successfully in an era when few believed that black people could or should.
Sponsored by the Art, Design and Architecture Museum, the Argyropoulos Endowment for Hellenic Studies, and the Departments of Black Studies and Classics.
Ian Morris is the Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor in Classics and Professor in History at Stanford University. He was one of the founders of the Stanford Archaeology Center and has served two terms as its director. He has published extensively on the history and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean and on world history. Dr. Morris is an award-winning author, including Why the West Rules–For Now (2010), the companion volume The Measure of Civilization (2013), and War! What is it Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots (2014). He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and has been awarded honorary degrees by De Pauw University and Birmingham University. In 2012 his work was the subject of a lengthy profile in the Chronicle of Higher Education. He delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Princeton University in 2012.
William M. Murray is Mary and Gus Stathis Professor of History at the University of South Florida.
The phrase “Age of the Titans,” originally coined by Lionel Casson to characterize the Hellenistic age of naval warfare, describes a period in which war fleets included larger than normal oared galleys, some with crews of more than 1,000 men. This lecture examines this interesting period by floating a new hypothesis (explained in Murray’s book The Age of Titans): the Macedonian successors of Alexander the Great rejected the Athenian model of trireme warfare (as perfected during the 5th century BCE) in favor of one developed by Alexander and his father Philip, who created the first naval siege unit which they used to attack the harbor fortifications of coastal cities. We will follow the developmental progression of this new model from Syracuse and Carthage to the successors of Alexander in order to explain the reasons behind these oared galleys of unbelievable size and weight. We will also try to place the firepower of these ships in perspective by examining the evidence from Augustus’ Victory Monument at Nikopolis. The lecture concludes with Antony and Cleopatra, who wagered everything on this model of naval warfare only to lose it all off Cape Actium in 31 BCE.
Margaret Malamud is Professor of Ancient History and Islamic Studies at New Mexico State University, where she is also the S.P. and Margaret Manasse Research Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is author of the acclaimed book Ancient Rome and Modern America (2009) and her articles have appeared in the scholarly collections African Athena (2012) and Ancient Slavery and Abolition (2011). Her latest book is African Americans and the Classics: Antiquity, Abolition, and Activism (2016).
This lecture is part of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Community Matters series; it is co-sponsored by the Argyropoulos Endowment for Hellenic Studies and the Departments of Black Studies and Classics.
Professor Gutas (Professor of Arabic and Graeco-Arabic, Yale University) is a pioneer of Graeco-Arabic studies. He has written extensively on the Greek heritage in Islam, and more specifically on the Greek philosophical heritage in Islam and on Islamic philosophy. His works include Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition: Introduction to Reading Avicenna’s Philosophical Works, (1988, rev. 2013), which changed the course of scholarship on Avicenna over the past three decades, and Greek thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early ‘Abbasaid Society (2nd-4th/5th-10th c.) (1997), which investigates the political and social causes of the translation movement of Greek thought into Arabic under the Early Abbasids. Moreover, Professor Gutas has edited Theophrastus’ On First Principles and co-edited the first editio maior of the Greek text of Aristotle’s Poetics.
This lecture is sponsored by the Departments of Philosophy and Classics.
Plato’s Republic is dominated by the idiom of seeing: to describe the framing encounters, the ordinary business of our engagement with the perceptible world, and the extraordinary business of the intellect and its development of knowledge. But the account of vision that underlies all of this has rich cognitive content, which makes it possible to think about vision as a faculty that can be developed, improved and even perfected. There is considerable plausibility in this view of vision; Platonic art can tell us about our own aesthetic experience. This exposes an unexpected fertility in the analogy between vision and intellection.
M. M. McCabe is Emerita Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Kings College, London, and is currently Sather Professor of Classics at UC Berkeley. ‘Parsing Vision’ is one of her series of 2017 Sather Lectures on “Seeing and Saying: Plato on Virtue and Knowledge.”
This lecture is sponsored by the Departments of Classics and Philosophy, and the Argyropoulos Endowment for Hellenic Studies.
Tracey L. Walters is Associate Professor of Literature and Chair of the Department of Africana Studies, SUNY – Stony Brook University.
Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety: The Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World” (2014) and Spike Lee’s “Chiraq” (2015) draw on western classical mythology featuring strong female characters to engage in satirical meditations on history, politics, and sexuality to tell stories about the black female experience. Their classical interpretations both humored and angered audiences who took to social media to express their opinions about the artwork itself and the audience reaction to the art. When considering this public critique, the question for examination is how and why do Walker and Lee’s adoption of the classics problematize the representation of the black female body in the public sphere?
Sponsored by the Argyropoulos Endowment for Hellenic Studies and the Departments of Black Studies and Classics.
Prof. Amelia R. Brown (Greek History & Language, University of Queensland) holds a Discovery Early Career Research Award from the Australian Research Council to study the role that sailors and travelers had on the development of Greek religion and identity.
This lecture is presented by the IHC Research Focus Group in Ancient Borderlands.
Goran Nikšić is the City Archaeologist and Architect for City of Split in Croatia (Service for the Old City Core), and the Senior Lecturer on architectural conservation at the University of Split. He holds his degrees from the University of Zagreb (Ph.D.), the University of York, and the University of Belgrade. His areas of specialization are architectural conservation and the history of architecture, particularly Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance architecture. From 2004 on he has served as an expert for ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). Mr. Nikšić is an AIA Norton Lecturer for 2017/2018.