The Yale Interdisciplinary Working Group for the Study of Antiquity

This graduate student-organized working group is intended to serve as a forum for graduate students in diverse disciplines across GSAS whose research centers on or relates to the ancient world. It will serve as a venue for graduate students and faculty to come together for the presentation and discussion of research organized around a specific theme, furnishing a jumping-off point for communication regarding source material and research questions that do not often fall neatly within disciplinary boundaries. Presentations will open up a dialogue not only about current research but also about the relevance of that research, and will encourage students and faculty to consider the interrelationships among themes common to various disciplines that study the ancient world. Relevant departments from which participants and presenters may be drawn include but are not limited to the Departments of History, Classics, Philosophy, History of Art, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and East Asian Languages and Literature, as well as the Yale Divinity School and Yale Law School.

We’re currently looking for presenters for this upcoming year. All grad students and post-docs whose research focuses on the premodern world in an interdisciplinary way are invited to present. Works in progress are most welcome, and presenters may focus on whatever they'd like: a close textual reading, an analysis of an object, an account of the historiography in your field, a reflection on methodological or reception issues. We especially encourage presentations on research projects that make use of the multitude of resources available here at Yale, including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale numismatics collection, the Yale Babylonian Collection, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Format and Schedule

The workshop will meet four times per semester; each meeting will consist of two presentations of approximately 20 minutes each, with 10–15 minutes of discussion following. As the standard conference–length paper is 20 minutes, this format will aid graduate students in gaining experience preparing and presenting papers meeting standard academic conference guidelines. It will also allow related presentations to be paired together in the interest of encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue. Each presenter will be asked to incorporate into his/her talk a discussion of the relevance of the presenter’s research both within the presenter’s own discipline and in other disciplines that study the ancient world. Presenters are therefore encouraged to consider the broader context and implications of their research and how it might be useful to related fields, whether in terms of topic, object of study, theory, or methodology, or how the work of other disciplines might help illuminate problems that the presenter’s research has uncovered.

Meetings take place Thursdays at 5 (Location TBA). Light refreshments provided. The Working Group is sponsored by GSAS and by YISAP.

Organizers sonja.anderson@yale.edu and christina.harker@yale.edu

Ruins photo