Webinar 1: Decolonizing Syllabi in the Archaeology and History of the Mediterranean Region

Date: Thursday, August 13th, 1-3pm EST on Zoom
Panelists: Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Nadhira Hill, Katherine Blouin, Kara Cooney and Sarolta Takács
Moderators: Elizabeth M. Greene and Vivian Laughlin


This seminar will focus on practical strategies to decolonize syllabi by promoting diverse and new perspectives in courses on the archaeology and history of the ancient Mediterranean region. The goal of the seminar is to offer instructors resources and techniques to decenter the typical canon of material and find new perspectives that present the ancient Mediterranean region authentically as a multicultural arena that was home to diverse and varied people. Panelists will discuss methods and best practices for promoting an inclusive approach to teaching antiquity and will share successes and failures in past efforts.


Katherine Blouin is Associate Professor in Classics at the University of Toronto. Her work centres on the socio-economic and environmental history of Roman Egypt, and her research interests include the Nile Delta, multiculturalism, cultural identities, as well as environments, peoples, and periods that are commonly considered to be ‘marginal’. Her current research explores the ways in which imperialism, colonialism, and Orientalism have impacted (and are still impacting) the fields of Classics, Papyrology, and Egyptology. She is a co-founder and co-editor of the blog Everyday Orientalism.

Rebecca Futo Kennedy is an ancient historian and Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Environmental Studies at Denison University (OH, USA). Her teaching and research focuses on Athenian tragedy (Aeschylus), histories of Greeks and Romans in their Mediterranean contexts, immigration (especially of women) in the ancient Mediterranean and ideas of race and ethnicity in antiquity and their uses in the construction of modern race, particularly scientific racism, the ‘Western Civilization” narrative, and Classicizing architecture. She is the author, among other things, of Immigrant Women in Athens (2014), and co-editor of Identity and the Environment in The Classical and Medieval Worlds (2016, with M.Jones-Lewis) and is also co-author and translator of Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World (2013, with CS Roy and ML Goldman).

Nadhira Hill is a PhD candidate in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Her research explores the intersections of ceramic production, cultural interaction, and commensal practices at the site of Olynthos, in the Chalkidiki region of northern Greece. She has become increasingly interested in inclusive and equitable pedagogy over the past year and has been working as part of a team of graduate students in her department to develop pedagogical tools, approaches, and best practices for instructors in preparation for the upcoming fall term. She is also currently a member of the CAMWS graduate student interest group, for which she is organizing a workshop on online teaching, as well as the AIA diversity subcommittee.

Sarolta Takács is Dean of Humanities and Social Science at City University of New York-College of Staten Island. She holds graduate degrees in History from the University of California, Los Angeles and has spent several years on research fellowships in Germany. Before coming to the College of Staten Island – CUNY, she taught at the University of Oregon, UCLA, Harvard University, and Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Dr. Takács held decanal positions at Harvard, the Sage College, and Rutgers, where she served as the Director of the Modern Greek Studies Program and was the founding dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. 

Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, Cooney received her PhD in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney produced a comparative archaeology television series, entitled Out of Egypt, in 2009 with the Discovery Channel, and in 2014 published The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt.

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