Happenings in Murphey

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Eta Sigma Phi, Undergraduate Conference

McKenzie Hitchcock
BA Classical Archaeology, 2017
President of UNC-CH Eta Sigma Phi Chapter, 2016-2017

On March 4th, the Eta Alpha chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics Honors Society, hosted the 4th annual Classics Undergraduate Conference. Presenters traveled from Georgetown, College of Charleston, University of Alabama, and Chapel Hill to give their papers. The conference was split up into four sections: Latin Philology, Greek Philology, Archaeology, and Religion. Papers presented ranged in topic from “Lucretius’ Use of Historical exempla to Redefine Traditional Epic Poetry” to “The Deification of Emperor Claudius” and from “Establishing Legitimacy in Hesiod’s Theogony” to “The Late Roman period Mosaics of Sepphoris and Defining the Jewish Figural Style.” This year, we were lucky to have the involvement of Professor Janet Downie, Professor Jim O’Hara, and Professor James Rives, all of whom gave response papers throughout the conference, an invaluable addition to the conference proceedings. Dr. Nicholas Hudson of UNCW acted as the keynote speaker and presented on “Social justice and social performance: How divided identities mark the end of Antiquity.” Thank you to everyone who attended the conference and made it such a success!

Conference presenters (from left to right) Abby Holland, Anna Grant, McKenzie Hitchcock, Hannah Edwards, Gwen Gibbons, Sarah Cohen, Sarah Legendre. Not pictured: Trish Okraski

Kings College London/UNC Chapel Hill Joint Graduate Colloquium

UNC Co-organizer, Luca Grillo, gives opening remarks at the 2016 joint colloquium

The 3rd annual KCL-UNC Graduate Student Colloquium was held in Chapel Hill in early September.  The weekend kicked off with the keynote address ‘Exploring the boundaries between the finished and the unfinished in classical art and literature,’ given jointly by KCL faculty Pavlos Avlamis and Will Wootton.  This year’s interdisciplinary theme was well represented through papers given by both philologists and archaeologists. Representing KCL were graduate students Rebecca van Hove, Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, Victoria Austen, and Francesca Bologna, along with Brian McPhee, Katie Tardio, and Katelin McCullough from UNC’s Classics department.  Many thanks to faculty respondents who included not only members of the KCL and UNC Classics faculty, but Fred Naiden of the UNC History department, Jehangir Melegam of the Duke History department, and Alicia Jimenez of the Duke Classics department.  The full colloquium program can be found here.

The 4th annual colloquium will once again be held in London, September 7-9, 2017.  The theme, Objects in Narrative, will include formal papers as well as object-based student presentations in the galleries of the British Museum.  Emily Baragwanath and Jen Gates-Foster will deliver the key note address on the role of objects in Herodotus’ narrative.

Ray Laurence

Professor Ray Laurence

This spring, UNC classics graduate students hosted Ray Laurence, Professor of Roman History at the University of Kent, for a visit where he delivered a public lecture, “The ‘Populus of the Future’: Children in the Forum?” as well as a graduate student seminar on the subject of Roman roads.  Classics graduate student Brian McPhee spear-headed the event coordination and shared his thoughts on the visit:

“The seminar on the subject of Roman roads was very engaging—the three hours really did seem to fly by as Dr. Laurence led us through a surprisingly wide range of road-related material and a stimulating discussion at the end of the session.  Likewise, his public lecture on Thursday evening, on imagining the place of children in Roman spaces, offered many fresh insights and was well-received.  Dr. Laurence’s humor also contributed to the success of both of his speaking engagements.  But perhaps the real highlight was the food–we stuffed Dr. Laurence and ourselves with Andrew Ficklin’s gumbo and other pot-luck items, with Kipos, and with catering from 411 West.”

Professor Laurence has been a Professor of Roman History at the University of Kent since 2010.  His research spans a number of topics, including Pompeii, roads and communications, and the Roman city in the West.  He is also a prize-winning teacher and public scholar, working in a variety of formats to engage the general public with ancient history.

All of these on-campus events were sponsored in part by the UNC-CH Student Congress, the Graduate School, The College of Arts and Sciences Division of Fine Arts and Humanities, The Graduate and Professional Student Federation, the Ancient World Mapping Center, and the James M. and Virginia Kay G. Snow Endowment Fund.