In art history and archaeology, "Materiality in Ancient Art" is a hot topic, says associate professor of classics Verity Platt, which is why she chose it for the student workshop recently held in Goldwin Smith Hall.
The Department of Classics' Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology at Cornell has received a $204,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for a program of dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating and research centered on resolving the (currently debated) chronology of the early Iron Age (early Biblical period) in the southern Levant. Principal Investigator Sturt Manning, Goldwin Smith Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cornell, Co-Principal Investigator Timothy Jull, Director of the University of Arizona's Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory Facility, together with Senior Research Associate Dr. Linah Ababneh, students and other colleagues, will collect and analyze tree rings from southern Jordan, Europe and North America to establish a high-resolution radiocarbon timeline for archaeological and environmental dating in the eastern Mediterranean. The research is aimed to explore and resolve current debates (or controversy) over dating the early Iron Age of the southern Levant, and so the correct timeframe for Biblical archaeology and early Biblical history, and for the associated ancient cultures of the region.
The Department of Classics at Cornell University seeks to appoint a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Greek and/or Latin literature to begin July 1, 2013. (An appointment at the Associate level may be considered in an exceptional case.) In addition to an active program of research and publications, the appointee will be expected to teach courses in language and literature at all levels, contribute appropriately to a general Classics program, and, if relevant, cultivate and maintain links to other humanities departments. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants should have the Ph.D. in hand, or be in the very last stages of completing the dissertation. Applications should be submitted via https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/1904. They should include a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a representative writing sample. The deadline for receipt of applications is November 16, 2012. Questions may be directed to Professor Jeffrey Rusten (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katrina Neff (email@example.com). Interviews will be conducted at the APA annual meeting in Seattle, January 3-6, 2013. Cornell is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator.
Katie Kearns, a fourth-year graduate student in Classical Archaeology, will spend the upcoming academic year 2012-2013 in Nicosia, Cyprus, as a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student grant. She will work at both the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute and the University of Cyprus in an effort to perform field work and collect data and resources for her dissertation, which focuses on the re-emergence and maintenance of political landscapes of Iron Age Cyprus, 1200-700 BCE. By combining archaeological, historical, spatial and environmental data, Kearns will investigate the formation of social boundaries and the constitution of authority in the south-central part of the island, following the collapse of the Late Bronze Age polities.
Jake Nabel (Classics graduate student) has received a grant from the Walter and Sandra LaFeber Research Assistance Fund through the Cornell University Department of History. The grant will allow for on-site research at various Gallic War battlefields throughout France alongside Professor Barry Strauss (History and Classics).
Platt, who specializes in ancient theories of representation and on the relationship between image and text, is one of the lead researchers on the Ancient Lives Project, which aims to develop a new approach to the transmission and reception of classical poetry. She will act as a consultant on visual culture throughout the project.
Jeffrey Leon, a Classics Graduate Student, has won a Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant of $19,630 for his project centered on Minoan Crete: "Not Just 'Counting Sheep': Isotopic Approaches to the Minoan Political Economy".
Traditional approaches to the Minoan political economy have focused on views from the center, emphasizing the strategies ruling elites employed in extracting surplus from subjected groups. This study aims to provide a complementary “bottom-up” view of Minoan pastoralism through isotopic analyses of strontium, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon in sheep teeth to track where sheep were pastured at different times during their first year of life. This data will be used to evaluate Minoan shepherd mobility and herding strategies to better understand how pastoral populations negotiated the social, political and ecological constraints in the Late Bronze Age Crete (c. 1650-1100 BCE).
Five faculty members Annetta Alexandridis (Art History), Kim Haines-Eitzen (Near Eastern Studies), Sturt Manning (Classics), Verity Platt (Classics), and Barry Strauss (History) and four graduate students in Classics (Carrie Fulton, Katie Jarriel, Katie Kearns, and Jeff Leon) were awarded one of the Brett de Bary Interdisciplinary Mellon Writing Grants for the 2011-2012 academic year through the Society for the Humanities. Their writing project is titled “Sounds from Silence: Production, Reception, and Absence of Sound in Antiquity.” Part of the $10,000 grant will be used for a conference in the spring.
For more information about the group and their individual projects, see their website.
William Clausen '05 is the winner of the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for Travel in Classical Lands awarded by the American Philological Association to recognize secondary-school teachers of Greek or Latin who are as dedicated to their students.
A graduate of Cornell University with a B.A. in Classics, Mr. Clausen went on to complete a second degree (M.A., Oxon) at Oxford University. For the last four years he has taught Latin and English at Washington Latin Public Charter School, where he serves as the head of the Foreign Languages Department.
Cornell President Emeritus and Classics Professor Hunter R. Rawlings III has been named president of the Association of American Universities (AAU), effective June 1.
Imagine there has been an apocalyptic event; a group of survivors have found their way onto a lift raft; and one free seat remains. Competing for this seat are professors from four arts departments (and the devil's advocate who argues that no arts subject is worth surviving). Professors from Classics, Philosophy, Theater, Film & Dance, English, and finally Physics plead for the free seat and argue why their discipline should survive and contribute towards the creation of a new society.
Watch the video (1 hour; the Classics defense starts just after 5:00)
Undergraduates Nathaniel Brown ’11, Casey Lafer ’11, Kachine Moore ’12 and Emily Simonson ’11 curated a new presentation of some of Cornell’s 19th century plaster casts in Goldwin Smith Hall. The showcases situated in the hallway on the ground floor of Goldwin Smith are devoted to four important topics of Greek and Roman culture: Greek funerary reliefs, the Parthenon in Athens, Greek and Roman portraiture, and the Column of Trajan in Rome. The new presentation is the outcome of a seminar on “Reproducing Greek and Roman Art” taught by Prof. Annetta Alexandridis in fall 2010, in which the class investigated practices of copying and reproduction in antiquity and modernity from a historical and a theoretical point of view. The seminar’s practical component included cleaning and restoration of the casts under the guidance of Ithaca-based conservator Kasia Maroney. The seminar will be taught on a regular basis as a means to rescue and reappraise this precious resource.
Harry Caplan was one of Cornell's most beloved teachers for about fifty years. He earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell in 1916 and -- except for a few months of basic training during World War I -- never left. As a faculty member (and bachelor), he breakfasted every morning (late) at Willard Straight Hall and arrived in his office by noon. There he stayed until late at night. His love of Greek and Latin classics and his availability for conversation inspired many a student -- undergraduate and graduate alike. He was a particular specialist in ancient and medieval Latin rhetoric and never approved of separating the study of rhetoric from its roots in the Western tradition of the liberal arts. He was also interested in ancient Jewish culture. Everyone who knew him had Harry Caplan stories, sometimes about his chain smoking, often about how he traced the etymology of their names, always about his great-mindedness.
After Harry died in 1980, former students contributed to an endowment in his honor. Prof. Isaac Kramnick, government, suggested that instead of using the income to buy books or bring lecturers to campus, the college use the income to send students away from campus. Hence the Caplan Travel Fellowships became the first in the college to make it possible for students sharing one of Harry's intellectual passions to travel around the Mediterranean. Grants can subsidize particular academic projects or intense and informed tourism.
This year’s recipients of the Harry Caplan Travel Fellowship:
Elias Kraushaar (Economics & College Scholar) will conduct research on ancient Jewish culture, economy, and society in modern Israel for a published research paper.
Daniel Ranweiler (Classics, German Studies, & Philosophy) will take part in a six week summer session put on by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. This program serves as an intensive introduction to Greece from Antiquity through the modern period.
The plaster cast of the Charioteer of Delphi in Goldwin Smith Hall has been restored.