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MemberSean Burrus

Currently the Bothmer Fellow in Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum, my research explores the role that material and visual culture played in the Jewish experience of the late ancient Roman world. I received my B.A. in Ancient Mediterranean Religions from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (2008), and went on to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before receiving an M.A. (2012) and Ph.D. (2017) in the History of Judaism from Duke University. I am an experienced instructor in Hebrew Bible and Jewish history from the Israelite period to Late Antiquity with an emphasis on the Greco-Roman World. I also have expertise in material and visual culture, archaeology and anthropology. I have archaeological field experience from important Roman period sites in Israel, and am a member of the publication team for the Duke excavations at Sepphoris. My dissertation research involved several enjoyable summers on site documenting and photographing in Rome and Beth She’arim. Having concluding my current research on Jewish sarcophagus patrons, I have begun work on a monograph more broadly exploring additional media of Jewish visual culture in Late Antiquity as evidence of cultural interaction and change. I am also developing a digital project that seeks to virtually reconstruct and reopen the destroyed Jewish catacombs of Monteverde.

MemberJill Marshall

I completed the PhD in New Testament in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University, with specializations in Paul’s letters and women’s activity in early Christianity and ancient Mediterranean religions. This academic year (2018–19), I have research fellowships at Humboldt University in Berlin and the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem to work on a project on cities in early Christianity. My book, Women Praying and Prophesying in Corinth: Gender and Inspired Speech in First Corinthians, situates Paul’s arguments about prayer and prophecy within their ancient Mediterranean cultural context, using literary and archaeological evidence. This research emerges from exegetical observations about 1 Corinthians 11-14, a section of the letter about inspired speech that begins and ends with conflicting passages about whether women should speak in the assembly. I argue that gender dynamics influence this entire part of the letter and the religious speaking practices in Corinth that prompted it. I am interested in situating early Christian texts, traditions, and communities within their cultural milieu using archaeological data. For the Summer 2016, I won the Dever Fellowship for Biblical Scholars, awarded by the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). The fellowship supported one month of excavation at Shikhin, a Roman-era Jewish settlement in the Galilee, and one month of research at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem. I have also conducted research at the ancient sites of Corinth and Ephesos and participated in archaeological fieldwork at Halmyris, a Roman frontier fort on the Danube Delta. I have taught courses on Jesus and the Gospels, Luke, Acts, First Corinthians, Women and the Bible, Gender and Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World, Global Perspectives on the Bible, Biblical Greek, New Testament interpretation, and theological writing and argumentation.

MemberSonja Anderson

I’m an Assistant Professor of Religion at Carleton College, where I teach courses in late antiquity and modern Catholicism. My current project, “Idol Talk: The Discourse of False Worship in the Early Christian World,” explores how ancient Christians and Jews used idolatry polemic to claim a distinctive identity for themselves over against their pagan peers and how scholarly narratives have replicated this claim to uniqueness. Right now, I’m intrigued by the nexus of sincerity, materiality, and ritual in early Christian eucharistic and penitential practice, and by modern evangelical interest in patristic literature. Some of my courses:  “Patristic Greek,” “Angels, Demons, and Evil,” “Illness, Medicine, and Magic,” “Making Meaning of the Hebrew Bible,” “Martyrdom, Suffering, and the Body,” “Jesus, Paul, and Christian Origins,” and “Gender and Power in the Catholic Church.”

MemberChristopher Hays

Christopher Hays is the D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Emory University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Notre Dame Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He has participated in archaeological research in Israel and conducts study trips there. In 2017-18, Hays is serving as president of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Pacific Coast region. Hays is the author of Hidden Riches: A Textbook for the Comparative Study of the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East (Westminster John Knox, 2014) and Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 79; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). He is working on the Isaiah commentary for the Old Testament Library series, having translated the book for the Common English Bible and written the entry on Isaiah for the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible. In 2013, he was one of ten scholars around the world to receive the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. Hays has published articles on diverse topics in journals such as the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, the Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, Biblica, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Ugarit-Forschungen, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, and the Journal of Theological Interpretation. He has also contributed essays to various edited volumes. Hays teaches courses in Old Testament and directs the master’s program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the School of Theology. His languages include Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. Hays is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Deposit“The Land of Matters Unforgot”: North and South, Past and Present in William Morris’s “The Earthly Paradise”

Nineteenth century British writers and artists looked back to, and in some cases attempted to claim a cultural heritage not their own. Rather than appealing to the indigenous Germanic and Celtic mythos, the literature, art, and culture of Ancient Greece provided a palliative to contemporary anxieties regarding social order, cultural achievement, and identity. This perceived superiority of Southern European antiquity, though seen by writers such as Gladstone as a precursor to medieval Christendom, is curious given the vigorous Northern European (particularly Norse) tradition. William Morris drew upon the Northern myths as well as the medieval Arthurian Romance tales in his writings, and in the epic collection “The Earthly Paradise”, describes cross-cultural exchange between wandering “Northmen” and the inhabitants of an undiscovered island community of Ancient Greeks. This frame story, along with Morris’s own commentary, around the tales from the Nordic and Hellenistic traditions provides an example of a possible intertwining of the two cultures in the context of the nineteenth century British engagement with antiquity. Morris’s poetry is illustrative not only of perceptions of Germanic and Mediterranean European culture, but also the relation of our present to a multitude of pasts.

MemberAlison Traweek

I am a sixth generation Texan, though I have now officially lived half of my life outside of Texas. Pennsylvania seems to have accepted me, though, and I at least think it’s going reasonably well. Teaching and writing were all I ever wanted to do for a living, and, fortunately, I have found a few people willing to pay me for the former and a few people willing to give me some white space for the latter. For six years I combined my interests by teaching writing at the University of Pennsylvania, which was both stimulating and fun. In that program I designed and taught classes on everything from ancient magic to race in antiquity to the politics of belonging to fairy tales, and learned a great deal about pedagogy. After a surprising and exciting semester teaching Shakespeare in film at Temple University, I have recently returned firmly to the field of classical studies, and am teaching Greek, Latin, and classics courses at the University of Pennsylvania and at Temple. My research explores poetry and poetics in archaic and classical Greece, mythology, and reception. I am currently (and probably foolishly) working on two book projects: one is on the development and significance of the figure of the Gorgon in Greco-Roman literature and art, and the other is an annotated translation of the Iliad for readers new to the poem and unfamiliar with the tradition. I have also published and/or presented on Medusa, dreams in ancient literature, Homer, Greek tragedy, teaching classics through writing, and – stretching my expertise, but responsibly – women’s suffrage in America, for the Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, admiring my cats, and dancing – I began studying Middle Eastern dance in 2005, picked up ballet in 2012, and went up on pointe in 2015. Other hobbies include sewing, quilting, studying Russian, playing classical piano, traveling, and creative writing.

MemberCillian O'Hogan

I am an Assistant Professor of Medieval Latin at the Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of Toronto. My main focus is on late antique and early medieval Latin literature, and on the history of the book between c. 300 and 800 CE. Previously, I was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at UBC, a post-doc in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Waterloo, and a curator in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Manuscripts section of the British Library. I received my Ph.D in Classics from the University of Toronto, where I wrote a dissertation entitled “Geography and space in the poetry of Prudentius”. Before that, I studied for my undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin.