Joy Connolly & Alessandro Schiesaro – The Study of the Ancient World Today in the United States and Italy
The study of the ancient world has long underpinned cultural and institutional assumptions in Europe and the United States. But changes in those assumptions feed back into changes in the study. Very recently, the speed of change, and the pressure to change, has dramatically accelerated, both in the wider society and within the walls of the university. This conversation brings together two renowned scholars of ancient Rome to discuss the current state of things and how it might change in the decade to come.
The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation generously supports Conversations/Conversazioni at the American Academy in Rome.
Joy Connolly is a scholar of Roman political thought and literature and their Anglo-American reception. She writes and speaks frequently about the future of humanistic inquiry in the United States. She began her service as President of the American Council of Learned Societies in 2019. Previously she served as provost and interim president of the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, home of over 4,000 graduate students, and as Distinguished Professor of Classics. She has held faculty appointments at New York University, where she served as dean for the humanities from 2012 to 2016, as well as at Stanford University and the University of Washington. Committed to broadening scholars’ impact on the world, Connolly has advocated for doctoral education reform, publicly engaged scholarship, and changes to faculty reward structures. She has published two books with Princeton University Press, The State of Speech and The Life of Roman Republicanism, and over eighty articles, reviews, and essays. Connolly earned a BA from Princeton University in 1991 and a PhD in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Her current book project argues for a global approach to the study of the world’s ancient cultures. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.
Alessandro Schiesaro is professor of Latin literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he earned his BA and PhD and recently returned to teach after several decades spent mostly abroad. He previously held chairs at Princeton, King’s College London, Sapienza University of Rome, and at Manchester, where he was William Hulme Professor of Classics. His main fields of interest include Latin literature, literary theory, psychoanalysis and cultural history; he is especially fascinated by the interaction between poetry and philosophy, the role of poetry as a form of knowledge, and the intersection between memory and emotions. Alessandro edits the Classical journal MAIA – Rivista di Literature Classiche and is a member of the editorial board of several international journals. A member of Academia Europaea, he has been a visiting professor at Stanford and has lectured extensively in Europe and the US. He is currently serving as the Scuola Normale’s deputy director, after leading the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at Manchester and the Sapienza School for Advanced Studies.
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