The Department is very pleased to welcome Professor Maria (Molly) Swetnam-Burland as a new Assistant Professor of Classical Studies.
Professor Swetnam-Burland comes to us from The Getty Research Institute, where last year she was the postdoctoral fellow at the Getty Villa. She is a Classical Archaeologist, with interests in the ancient city of Pompeii, Roman sculpture and painting, and the Roman importation of Egyptian antiquities to Italy after the conquest of Egypt. She has a Ph.D. from the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan, and taught previously at Bowdoin College and Portland State University.
Molly's current book project, Imagining Egypt: Roman Art and the Invention of the Foreign, investigates the phenomenon of ‘Roman Egyptomania' - the Roman fascination with Egypt after its conquest by the emperor Augustus. Egyptian grain, papyrus, and antiquities could be found in cities throughout Italy, while Rome was graced with monumental obelisks imported by the emperors at great expense. Molly's book deals particularly with the ‘reinvention' of Egyptian antiquities in Roman contexts, exploring their appeal to Roman audiences in the Augustan period and beyond. She has published articles on the topic in the volumes Nile into Tiber (Brill, 2007) and Archäologie zwischen Okzident und Orient (forthcoming).
This fall, Molly will present her work to audiences around the country. She will give a paper, "The Appropriated ‘Egyptian Life' of the Montecitorio Obelisk" at the meetings of the American Society for Oriental Research in Boston, and will be the keynote speaker for the conference of the Texas Classical Association in October in Dallas. Also in October, she will present a workshop on the inscriptions and finds from the Temple of Isis in Pompeii at the ‘Latin Immersion Weekend' of the Virginia Classical Association.