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ASU hosts fall lecture series on ancient art

September 04, 2013

ASU students have the opportunity to study ancient Greek and Roman language, history, culture and archeology – the roots of modern academic programs in the humanities – with the School of International Letters and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Classroom study is enhanced by guest lectures about the classical world deliverd by prominent scholars.

This semester, the school is teaming up with the Archeological Institute of America, Central Arizona Society and ASU’s Project Humanities to present a lecture series exploring art history, with lectures on ancient Greek and Roman art, rock art and ancient Roman visual humor.

All events are free and open to the public.

The School of International Letters and Cultures offers majors in classics and classical civilization, a certificate in classical studies, as well as a study abroad trip to Naples, Italy, where students have the opportunity to explore Pompeii and some of the best-preserved Greek architecture in the world. On this study abroad trip, students “often have their perspectives broadened in unexpected ways,” says classics professor Mike Tuller, “and are able to see the world from a new angle. In conjunction with class work, a trip abroad to walk where the ancients walked and see through their eyes enables their world to come even more vividly alive.”

The mission of the Archaeological Institute of America is to promote “archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity ... The AIA educates people of all ages about the significance of archaeological discovery and advocates the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage.” Advancing this premise, the Central Arizona Society is dedicated to encouraging active involvement and interest in the archaeological community both locally and globally.

Events in this series include:

Michael Hoff, Athenian art and architecture under Roman domination
6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 19, Life Sciences Tower E, room 104, Tempe campus

Professor Michael Hoff has been teaching art history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1989. His research specializes in Greek and Roman archaeology, specifically the history of Roman Athens and the archaeology of Asia Minor. In this lecture, he traces the topographical and architectural changes Athens underwent during the formative period of Roman control, which occurred during the late Hellenistic period and to the mid-first century AD. Based on his research, Hoff will place a particular emphasis on the role Augustus played in the civic transformation.

David Lee, Australian and North American rock art
6-7:30 p.m., Oct. 24, ASU’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center, off-campus

David Lee is an independent rock art researcher, focusing on the function and context of Native American rock art in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert. He is a founding member of Western Rock Art Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and management of rock art. For the last seven years, he has been documenting rock art and associated traditional stories in northern Australia. In this lecture, he will investigate the rock art of Australia and North America, focusing on environmental and cultural context, ethnography and current research trends.

John R. Clarke, ancient Roman art and humor
6-7:30 p.m., Nov. 7, Murdock Lecture Hall, room 101, Tempe campus

John R. Clarke earned his doctorate in ancient art history at Yale University in 1973 and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1980. His teaching, research and publications focus on ancient Roman art and archaeology, art-historical methodology and contemporary art. This lecture examines a broad range of objects, from wall paintings to ceramics, emphasizing the dual context of the built environment and the social status of viewers. Archaeological sites, as well as a range of ancient texts, inscriptions and graffiti, provide the background for understanding the how and why of humorous imagery, one of Clarke’s most recent areas of research.

Written by Daniel Lennie, communications intern, School of International Letters and Cultures. 

The School of International Letters and Cultures is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.