10/22/2018 10:30 AM ISAW - 15 East 84th Street

Prospective Student Open House

ISAW's open house for prospective doctoral students will include coffee with ISAW students, faculty, and scholars; an information session about our academic program; a tour of ISAW and the ISAW Library; a Q&A session with current students; an opportunity to attend an ISAW graduate seminar; and an opportunity to visit the ISAW exhibition, "Devotion and Decadence."
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10/24/2018 12:00 PM ISAW Galleries

Exhibition Gallery Talk: Object Histories

Clare Fitzgerald and Rachel Herschman

Join us in the galleries for a 20 minute in-depth discussion of a single object from Devotion and Decadence: The Berthouville Treasure and Roman Luxury. Every Wednesday from October 17 - December 19 we will focus on one object and explore its specific history, iconography, and manufacture in this brief lunchtime talk. Each discussion will feature a different object and visitors are welcome to return for a fresh conversation each week. Clare Fitzgerald is Associate Director for Exhibitions and Gallery Curator, and Rachel Herschman is Curatorial Assistant, both at ISAW.
10/25/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Photograph of the lecturer: Kimberly Cassibry

Exhibition Lecture: Seeing the Supernatural

Art and Religion in Roman Gaul

Kimberly Cassibry

This talk explores the role of art in Gallic religion before, during, and after Caesar’s conquest. The Gauls themselves left few written documents about their religious beliefs, possibly because the druids insisted on the oral transmission of knowledge. The material record reveals that they had not necessarily imagined their gods in human form before conquest, though they were accustomed to appeasing supernatural forces with gifts of exquisitely crafted metalwork. After annexation, the inscribed and sculpted stone monuments that they began to dedicate bear witness to a fascinating era of experimentation, when their newly imagined gods were represented alongside Greek and Roman ones for the first time. In reassessing the role of art in Gallic religion, this talk sheds new light on the rich cultural heritage of the Roman Empire’s provinces.
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10/26/2018 09:15 AM ISAW Lecture Hall
3D model of sculptured bust from the Yale University Art Gallery

Conference: Digital Approaches to Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean

Digital resources have become an essential part of studying the languages, history, and material culture of the Ancient Mediterranean. This one-day conference looks at how this disciplinary turn is being integrated into both undergraduate and graduate courses. There will be sustained attention during the day on current practice in recent courses, and the speakers all have considerable teaching experience. Speakers will also address the goals of using digital methods, tools and resources in a wide range of pedagogic and institutional settings. Digital approaches to teaching do not merely replicate earlier methods so that new possibilities for expanding the scope of curricula will be an important topic. The day will end with a panel discussion and we will welcome input from all who are in attendance.
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10/30/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

From Hebrew Bible Studies to the Studies of the Ancient Near East

Approaches Towards a History of Religion of Mesopotamia

Beate Pongratz-Leisten

Like literature, religion is a topic about which most people believe to speak informed and competently, because we all have been exposed to it in one way or another. In fact, things are not that simple, if we think of religion encompassing more than just faith and include aspects of divinity, institutions, community, practice, and theology. This talk will trace Assyriological approaches to ancient religions in Mesopotamia and address the question of intellectual and religious history by tackling it through the lens of our own scholarly history since the decipherment of the cuneiform script in the second half of the 19th century. For the most part, in Assyriology, there are no real schools of approaches towards the history of religion, as one could define them, for instance, for topics such as sedentarization and urbanism, law, or economics. Rather, we can observe moments, when individual scholars touching upon topics of ancient Near Eastern religion would also engage with an interdisciplinary discourse occurring outside Assyriology in the fields of history of religion, anthropology, literary theory, intertextuality and narratology as well as art history and visual theory.
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10/30/2018 07:00 PM La Maison Française

Exhibition Lecture: The Cabinet des médailles

Luxury and Power from Ancient Rome to Modern France

Clare Fitzgerald

The lecture, presented at La Maison Française, is held in conjunction with the exhibition Devotion and Decadence: The Berthouville Treasure and Roman Luxury from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, on view at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 East 84th St., from October 17 to January 6. Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and La Maison Française
10/31/2018 12:00 PM ISAW Galleries

Exhibition Gallery Talk: Object Histories

Clare Fitzgerald and Rachel Herschman

Join us in the galleries for a 20 minute in-depth discussion of a single object from Devotion and Decadence: The Berthouville Treasure and Roman Luxury. Every Wednesday from October 17 - December 19 we will focus on one object and explore its specific history, iconography, and manufacture in this brief lunchtime talk. Each discussion will feature a different object and visitors are welcome to return for a fresh conversation each week. Clare Fitzgerald is Associate Director for Exhibitions and Gallery Curator, and Rachel Herschman is Curatorial Assistant, both at ISAW.
11/06/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Detail of a painted relief from a 6th-century Chinese funerary platform depicting musicians and fantastic human-animal hybrid creatures.

Defining ‘Xian’

Methodological Approaches and Questions to the Study of Zoroastrianism in Medieval China

Pénélope Riboud

It is common knowledge that much more circulated than silk on the so-called “Silk Road” that connected China to the powerful and wealthy states that ruled over Inner Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East from the 6th to the 10th century CE. Textual sources, as well as archaeological and iconographical ones, show clear evidence for instance that from the 6th to the 10th century CE, Central Asians that resided in China continuously maintained a local form of Zoroastrianism, that Chinese literati designated by the character “xian 祆”. These sources, however, also shed a light on many contradictions. Tombs of the elite demonstrate adaptations of funerary practices; cross-examination of visual and textual material indicates inconsistencies regarding the identity of the gods that dominated the pantheon; and textual descriptions of xian rituals betray many idiosyncrasies. By questioning these discrepancies and trying to understand whether they resulted from mutations of Zoroastrianism as a consequence of its evolution in a multi-cultural context, or if they were mere misunderstandings by unfamiliar Chinese observers, this talk will aim at offering a better understanding of the multi-faceted narrative of the diffusion of Central Asian religions in China.
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11/07/2018 12:00 PM ISAW Galleries

Exhibition Gallery Talk: Object Histories

Clare Fitzgerald and Rachel Herschman

Join us in the galleries for a 20 minute in-depth discussion of a single object from Devotion and Decadence: The Berthouville Treasure and Roman Luxury. Every Wednesday from October 17 - December 19 we will focus on one object and explore its specific history, iconography, and manufacture in this brief lunchtime talk. Each discussion will feature a different object and visitors are welcome to return for a fresh conversation each week. Clare Fitzgerald is Associate Director for Exhibitions and Gallery Curator, and Rachel Herschman is Curatorial Assistant, both at ISAW.
11/08/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Headshot of Monica L. Smith

12th Annual Leon Levy Lecture: Urbanism and the History of Architectural Restlessness

Monica L. Smith

The world’s first cities started only 6,000 years ago, and in that short amount of time have become the dominant form of human settlement. Among the many alterations of daily life, evident in even the first cities, was the creation of a purposeful built environment resulting in distinct patterns of residence, commerce, ritual engagement, transportation, and entertainment. Yet one of the most interesting things about urban architecture is its high rate of turnover compared to the conservatism of rural settlements. Through archaeological examples from both the Classical world and ancient India, this lecture will explore the implications of the ways in which urban residents are constantly renewing, upgrading, and redefining their place in the city through architectural change, and the way in which architectural restlessness carries forward into the present day of our own urban experiences.
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11/10/2018 05:30 PM ISAW Galleries
Photograph of Joan Chiverton

Exhibition Gallery Event: Sketch Night

Joan Chiverton

Please join illustrator and teaching artist Joan Chiverton for an evening of sketching in the galleries in conjunction with the exhibition Devotion and Decadence. Develop your drawing skills and discover a new way of seeing as you sketch Roman silver masterpieces and other ancient luxury objects. Following a brief introduction and tutorial, Ms. Chiverton will circulate the galleries and provide individual coaching, if desired. All skill levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. Participants should bring their own drawing pad or paper with a board. Gallery specific pencils will be provided by ISAW. For conservation reasons pens, pastels, charcoal, and paints need to be kept at home.
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11/14/2018 12:00 PM ISAW Galleries

Exhibition Gallery Talk: Object Histories

Clare Fitzgerald and Rachel Herschman

Join us in the galleries for a 20 minute in-depth discussion of a single object from Devotion and Decadence: The Berthouville Treasure and Roman Luxury. Every Wednesday from October 17 - December 19 we will focus on one object and explore its specific history, iconography, and manufacture in this brief lunchtime talk. Each discussion will feature a different object and visitors are welcome to return for a fresh conversation each week. Clare Fitzgerald is Associate Director for Exhibitions and Gallery Curator, and Rachel Herschman is Curatorial Assistant, both at ISAW.
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