Distributed September 25, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis



Kirk Lecture Series

Ancient Studies Program announces new seven-part lecture series

Funded by a grant from the Kirk Foundation, the Ancient Studies Program will sponsor the newly established Kirk Lecture Series for 2001-2002, titled Perceptions and Representations of the Past in Ancient Civilizations. The public is invited to attend the seven lectures free of charge. The series begins Oct. 1, 2001, and continues through March 11, 2002.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Scholars from some of the country’s leading universities are set to participate in the newly established Kirk Lecture Series being offered this year by Brown University’s Ancient Studies Program.

The series, titled Perceptions and Representations of the Past in Ancient Civilizations, will offer a broad and unique program of seven lectures considering how various ancient cultures, from Rome and the Near East to China, represented the past. Beginning Oct. 1, 2001, and continuing through March 11, 2002, the lectures are free and open to students, faculty and the public.

Brown’s Ancient Studies Program encompasses faculty and course offerings from nearly a dozen University departments, programs and centers, including Classics, Old World Archaeology and Art, Egyptology, Religious Studies and the History of Mathematics, among others. Although the collaborative program has offered lectures each year, the Kirk Foundation has provided a new opportunity by funding this ambitious series, according to Kurt Raaflaub, professor of classics and program chair.

“This very generous gift makes it possible for us to invite these esteemed scholars,” said Raaflaub. “The quality of this series is unique.”

The lecture series schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, Oct. 1, 2001 – Erich Gruen, University of California–Berkeley, “Cultural Borrowings: Fiction and Fable in the Fabrication of the Past”;


  • Monday, Oct. 22, 2001 – Philip Rousseau, Catholic University, “Early Christian ‘Schooling’: Old Rules Put to New Purpose”;


  • Monday, Nov. 5, 2001 – Fred Kleiner, Boston University, “Representing and Misrepresenting the Past in Roman Art”;


  • Monday, Dec. 10, 2001 – Richard Davis, Brown University, “Chaste and Moral Women in the Historical Writings of 11th Century China”;


  • Monday, Feb. 4, 2002 – Peter Machinist, Harvard University, “The Voice of the Historian in the Ancient Near East”;


  • Monday, Feb. 25, 2002 – Jan Assmann, University of Heidelberg and Yale University, “Meaning and History: Representing the Past in Egypt and the Ancient Near East”;


  • Monday, March 11, 2002 – Anthony Grafton, Princeton University, “The Past as Text: Premodern Ways of Representing Historical Time.”

All lectures are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Room 106 of Smith-Buonanno Hall, located on the Pembroke Campus, 95 Cushing St. For more information on the lectures, call (401) 863-1994.

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