Faculty and Student Research Interests

AMS Visiting Scholars
event Jessica Ambler, IHC Senior Fellow and Ancient Borderlands MRG Program Coordinator, Ph.D., UCSB, Art History

Dr. Ambler's research is concerned with urban landscapes as sites of cultural exchange in the ancient world with a concentration on the Punic cities of the ancient Mediterranean region and their physical and ideological impact on later Roman cities. Her dissertation, " 'How fortunate are those whose walls already rise!': The Roman Rebuilding of Carthage in Physical City and Constructed Memory" analyzes Carthage as an urban forerunner to Rome before its destruction by the Roman Republic in 146 BCE and after its rebuilding under Augustus around 30 BCE, exploring how the city was represented by Romans to a broad audience in Rome and became a locus of collective memory.

    Mr. Abrecht's research is concerned with immigration and urbanism in the ancient Mediterranean
    Ms. Ballmes' research is concerned with material culture, including non-canonical texts, in the formation of Jewish and Christian identity in the first few centuries of the common era
    Ms. Bricker's research is concerned with Greek and Roman urbanism, archaeology of Asia Minor
    Mr. Dufault's research concerns ancient Greek alchemy and its relation to theurgy, natural philosophy and the late Roman patronage network.
    Mr. Goalwin's research is concerned with the Sociology of Religion, Social Movements and Religious Conflict in Late Antiquity
    Mr. Kegerreis studies the desert frontiers of the Hellenistic Greeks and Romans, with a focus in Gedrosia (the modern Makran  region), Arabia, and the Sahara. He is interested in both ancient geographical perspectives and in literary impressions of the desert, and desert peoples and cultures.
    Mr. Linn's research centers on late Roman political and military history during the fifth century CE, with additional interests in Hellenistic political and military history, Byzantine political history, and the history of science.
    Ms. Turtledove's research is concerned with faith and culture boundaries at pilgrimage shrines, including Jerusalem; the construction of places of memory, including sites of cursed memory
    Ms. Watts' research is concerned with urban agriculture and the relationship between urban and suburban communities in ancient Rome
    Ms. Wolpo's research is concerned with asceticism as a means to power, the competition for power between Roman and Christian symbolic forms, and the mobilization of urban populations for ideological purposes through the intentional use of rhetoric in Late Antiquity

    Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Classics
    Argyropoulos Chair in Hellenic Studies
    Much of Prof. Athanassakis’s work is in the language of Homer and Hesiod, for which he has also provided important translated editions. He has numerous articles on various aspects of  comparative ancient mythology and ancient Greek religion.
    Ph.D. University of California Santa Barbara, History
    Prof. Digeser specializes in Roman politics, religion and philosophy during the third and fourth centuries CE. Her current interests are in examining why Rome turned to persecuting Christians in 303 after forty years of peace, as well as "pagan" survivals in the cities and towns of Sicily and Asia Minor.
    Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, History
    Prof. Drake specializes in Roman History of the fourth century CE. His interests focus upon questions of historiography and the realignment of interests and identities that followed from the conversion of the emperor Constantine to Christianity.
    Ph.D. University of Toronto, History
    Prof. English is the Executive Director of the Medieval Studies Program, and an historian of the society and culture of Medieval and Early Renaissance Siena and Tuscany. His interests include medieval and early Renaissance Italy; manuscript studies in paleography, diplomatics and codicology; and sexual and economic ethics in medieval and early Renaissance Italy.
    Ph.D. University of Texas, Classical Archaeology
    Prof. Erickson is an archaeologist of ancient Greece specializing in archaic and classical (ca. 600-400 B.C.) ceramic sequences. Other interests include Greek sculpture, architecture, history, and topography. His next project takes him to central Greece to publish the Geometric-Hellenistic finds from Lerna, a village in the Argolid.
    Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology
    Prof. Friedland is interested in the ways in which the religious is being deployed in public life, particularly the case of religious nationalism, and is trying to develop an institutional approach to the study of religion, institutions not simply as valued organizational sets and types of practices, but as ontological performance.  Some of his work has treated nationalism and institutional life in early Christianity and formative Judaism.
    Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology
    Prof. Gallucci’s research interests involve myth, including both Greek and Near Eastern traditions, as well as the intersection of ancient texts and ancient artefacts.  He is nationally known for his work on teaching in the discipline of classics.
    Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology
    Ph.D. Yale University, Northwest Semitic Languages, Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East
    Prof. Garr’s interests include the Hebrew Bible, religions of the ancient Near East, and northwest Semitic languages.
    Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology
    Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles, History of Religions
    Prof. Hecht is interested in the deep contextualization of religion in its lived environments and most centrally the intersections of religion, politics, and culture.  Some of his work impinges upon the history of Judaism, including the Second Temple and Rabbinic periods.
    Ph.D. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Classics
    Prof. Hahn's research interests center on the public cult of Republican and Augustan Rome. Her current project includes prayers but expands the sphere of inquiry to ritual, in particular, to celebrations of victory.
    Ph.D. University of Michigan, History
    Prof. Humphreys’ current work focuses on the Christian communities of Syria and Mesopotamia during the first centuries of Islamic rule.
    Ph.D. Cornell University, History
    Prof. Lee studies the history of ancient Greece, especially the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, using both textual and archaeological evidence. He is particularly interested in the social and cultural aspects of ancient warfare.
    Ph.D. Berkeley, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology
    Ph.D. Berkeley, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology
    Prof. Morstein-Marx is currently Chair of the Department. His main research interests lie in Roman history from the middle Republic to the early Empire, and his current work focuses on political culture in the late Roman Republic, especially political values and concepts and the conflicting sources of legitimacy in a time of crisis. Other major interests include Cicero, Roman rhetoric, and Latin and Greek historiography.
    Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles, English
    Prof. Pasternack’s central interests include Old and Middle English literature, history of the English language, oral and textual theory, and gender in the Middle Ages.
    Ph.D. Berkeley
    Prof. Shelton’s primary research interests include Roman social and cultural history, attitudes toward animals in the ancient and modern world, Roman and Greek tragedy, and Roman epistolography.
    Ph.D. University of California-Los Angeles, Archaeology
    Prof. Smith's research interests include imperialism and cultural contact between ancient Egypt and Nubia, legitimization and ideology, funerary practice and the social and economic dynamics of ancient Egypt. His methodological focus is on the study of ancient pottery, including the scientific analysis of absorbed residues. Continuing analysis by Smith of the collection from the Egyptian fortress of Askut addresses household archaeology and the cultural dynamics of colonial situations.
    Ph.D. Harvard University, Committee on the Study of Religion
    Prof. Thomas has research interests in the archaeology of religion in Roman imperial Asia Minor, and in first and second century Christianity, with special attention to the Christian apocrypha. Methodologically she organizes her work around alternate modes of perception and communication that underlie or overturn textual modes, such as orality, and visual and spatial perception. She has conducted excavations and fieldwork for sixteen years in and around Ephesos,Turkey.
    Ph.D. University of Paris X, Ancient Philosophy
    Prof. Tsouna’s work is in the area of ancient Greek philosophy, specializing in Socrates, Plato, the Socratic schools, and Hellenistic Philosophy. Currently she is working on topics in ancient epistemology, moral psychology and ethics, and also on a monograph on Plato's Charmides.
    Ph.D. University of Paris X, Ancient Philosophy
    Prof. Tsouna’s work is in the area of ancient Greek philosophy, specializing in Socrates, Plato, the Socratic schools, and Hellenistic Philosophy. Currently she is working on topics in ancient epistemology, moral psychology and ethics, and also on a monograph on Plato's Charmides.

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