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Classical Studies Colloquium 2023


The 2023 Classical Studies Colloquium:  Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean (faculty mentor: Jess Stephens)

The Classical Studies Colloquium is an annual celebration of the scholarship of advanced students in Classical Studies at William & Mary. The Colloquium is designed and presented by the students in the Classical Studies Seminar course, and is free and open to the public.

The Colloquium will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Boswell Hall, Room 220, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. 


The theme of this year’s Classical Studies Colloquium is identity in the ancient Mediterranean. In their presentations, students will explore how identities, whether of individuals or groups, were produced, maintained, and transformed across cultures and time.  Their research focuses on specific aspects of identity, including power/gender, ethnicity/race, religion, language, social class.  Many students will be discussing the intersections of these aspects in ways that can inform our own understanding of how there are both universal and culturally specific dynamics at work in the past and today.


Panel 1 (9:00 - 10:30): The “Other” in Religion, Images, and Reality

JR Herman, Black Isis: An Egyptian Goddess’ Nubian Identity.

Ivana Genov, The Cult of the Nymphs in Ancient Corinth.

Jake Morrin, Romanitas, Auxilia, and the Role of Martial Service as an Integratory Mechanism in the Early Imperial Period, 41-117 CE.

Morgan Birkenstock, “A Foreigner, an Enemy”: How Xenophobia in the Late Roman Republic Affected Elite Identity by Political and Religious Means.

Emily Egan, Blacks in Antiquity: The Sociopolitical Implications of Ethnicity and "Othering" as depicted in Classical Art.

Coffee Break 10:30-10:45

Panel 2 (10:45-12:15): Literary Identities

Anna Kjems, DIY Philosophy: Flexible Identity in Parmenides.

Brooke Braden, Sing of Arms and Disobedience: Reading Vergil's Aeneid in Milton's Paradise Lost.

Balin Armstrong, The Identity of Ovid’s Heroines.

Elizabeth Belden, “vultus componere: the persona of Sulpicia.

Tom Zhang, The Seducer and The Seduced: A Sexualized Reading of Seneca’s Thyestes.

Lunch Break 12:15-1:15

Panel 3 (1:15-3:00): Self-Presentation, Self-Fashioning, and the Creation of Identity

Emma Capaldi, Extrapolating Identity from Visual Representation: Tondo Portraits of Children in the House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto.

Amelia Metcalf, The Domus Aurea: Reflecting Identity in Architecture & Archaeology.

Astrid Weisend, Magic and Slavery in Rome.

Gabrielle Buffaloe, The Continuation of Enslaved Identities into Freedmen’s Lives.

Jordan Long, Aquae Sulis: Sulis Minerva and the Formation of a Romano-British Religious Identity.

Madeline Farris, Dreaming in Antiquity: Reflections of Identity in Interpretations by Homer, Aeschylus, and Artemidorus.

Coffee Break 3:00-3:15

Panel 4 (3:15-5:00): Negotiated and Mediated Identities

Emily MacKenzie, Female Homoeroticism in the Ancient Mediterranean.

Taylor Cheatwood, Defining Homoeroticism in Plato’s Symposium.

Lawrence Lowe-Papa, Finding Greek Identity through Tragedy.

Madeline Dovi, Standards of Femininity: Livia and the Creation of Imperial Identity.

Trevor Davis, Christian Identity during Persecution.

Thomas Walsworth, “The Falcon and the Eagle": Germanic Distinctiveness and the Disintegration of the Roman Project.