National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: John Pollini

Affiliation: University of Southern California

John Pollini is Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History at the University of Southern California.  He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in the interdepartmental program in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology.  After completing his doctoral work in 1978, he taught as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Case Western Reserve University before being appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Classics at Johns Hopkins University, where he also served as Curator of the University’s Archaeological Museum.  At the University of Southern California, where he has taught since 1987, he has served as Chair of the Department and as Dean of the School of Fine Arts. In the past he has participated in excavations at Aphrodisias in Turkey and in Italy at Ghiaccio Forte (Scansano), the port of Tarquinia (Gravisca), and most recently at Ostia Antica and the Area Sacra of Saint Omobono (Rome).

Professor Pollini has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, two American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships, two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy. In 2005 he was also the recipient of a Mellon Foundation Award for Excellence in Mentoring Students and in 2006-2007 was appointed the Whitehead Professor of Archaeology at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  Among his other honors, he is an elected life-member of the German Archaeological Institute. 

Professor Pollini has lectured widely in both the United States and Europe, and is an AIA Joukowsky Lecturer for 2012/2013. In addition to numerous articles and reviews, he has authored four books and edited another, all dealing with various aspects of Greek and Roman art, considered in an interdisciplinary context.  To be published this year is his latest book, From Republic to Empire: Rhetoric, Religion, and Power in the Visual Culture of Ancient Rome.  His current book project is titled Christian Destruction and Desecration of Images of Classical Antiquity: A Study in Religious Intolerance and Violence in the Ancient World.


See John Pollini's work in the American Journal of Archaeology.

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