ISAW Announces Fall 2023 Roster of "Expanding the Ancient World: K-12" Workshops

By Marc LeBlanc

Expanding the Ancient World: K-12, a professional development program for K-12 teachers, is starting its second year, and we are excited to announce the fall 2023 schedule of events. Last year, ETAW included programs on Sogdian communities living along the Silk Roads, ritual and memory in the Balkans, digital models of the Parthenon, the representation of women in the Greco-Roman world, and racial diversity in the ancient Mediterranean. This fall, we are focusing on new topics from across the ancient world. These free events will take place on zoom, and registration links are included below. CTLE hours are available for New York State educators. We hope you can join us!

October 25th, 2023, 5:30-6:30 pm:
"Fire Deities of the Ancient Greeks: Histories, Beliefs, and Practices" (Zoom)
Braden Cordivari (PhD Student, ISAW)
The use of fire is an important human skill, fundamental to life in the present and in the past. In ancient societies, people relied on the help of a variety of divine figures for fiery activities such as cooking, heating homes, and crafting objects like metals and pottery. This workshop will explore the context and development of ancient Greek beliefs about fire, including the importance of the figures of Prometheus, Hephaistos, and Athena.
This event is presented in partnership with the China Institute.
Registration link.

November 14th, 2023, 5:30-7:00 pm:
"Reckoning with Ancient Fragments: The Transcultural World of the Sogdians" (Zoom)
Emily Everest-Phillips (PhD Candidate, ISAW)
The medieval civilization of the Sogdians, from their homeland in modern-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, was once renowned as an international agent of transcultural exchange across the Eurasian 'Silk Road'. However, the source material from the Sogdians that survives is highly fragmentary and the limited textual evidence is usually written from outsiders' perspectives. This workshop will explore how to reckon with the historically underrepresented 'other' and give guidance on strategies for the 'reading' of tantalizing fragments of visual and textual sources from different perspectives in the ancient world.
Registration link.

November 28th, 2023, 5:30-7:00 pm:
"Greece, Egypt, and the Body: Dissection and Mummification in Cross-Cultural Perspective" (Zoom)
Claire Bubb (ISAW) & Amber Jacob (PhD Candidate, ISAW)
The Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Egyptians held different beliefs about the workings of the body and about the handling of corpses. In the Ptolemaic period, when Egypt fell under Greek rule, Greek doctors working in Egyptian Alexandria took a remarkable leap forward in the study of anatomy via dissection by dissecting human bodies, but there remains scholarly debate on the degree to which the Egyptian milieu impacted these developments. This workshop will introduce the evidence we have for both Greek dissection and Egyptian embalming in this period, and will offer suggestions for how to use this attention-grabbing topic to facilitate discussions of intercultural exchange, cultural biases (both ancient and modern), and the history of science.
Registration link.

December 13th, 2023, 5:30-6:30 pm:
"Nomads in World History: How Human Mobility Shapes Society"
Shannon Monroe (PhD Candidate, ISAW)
It is difficult to teach nomadic history for several reasons: many nomadic cultures did not leave textual records of their own history, nomadic settlement patterns diverge from those of "Classical Cultures" such as the ancient Greeks or Egyptians, and most students today do not have first-hand experience of traditional nomadic lifeways. This workshop will equip educators with primary and secondary sources for teaching students about several important historical nomadic cultures, such as the Scythian and Comanche groups, which might be compared and contrasted with each other and with other cultures under study. Questions include: how do distinct forms of mobility (running, horseback riding, automobile driving) vary between different groups of people? Why do these practices become emblematic of a culture? Are nomadic cultures "unchanging"? Why do historians so often disparage nomads in the written record? How does movement shape cities?
Registration link.

Expanding the Ancient World is made possible by generous support from ISAW and an NYU Teaching Advancement Grant.