• Susan Ashbrook Harvey

    Director, Program in Early Cultures; Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of History and Religion

    Susan Ashbrook Harvey specializes in late antique and Byzantine Christianity, with Syriac studies as her particular focus. She has published widely on topics relating to asceticism, hagiography, women and gender, hymnography, homiletics, and piety in late antique Christianity.

  • Sara Wintz

    Administrative Coordinator, Program in Early Cultures

    Sara Wintz is the Administrative Coordinator for the Program in Early Cultures. She is a graduate of Mills ('07), a very small women's college in Oakland, California, founded in 1852 to educate the daughters of the California's first gold rush, and earned her M.F.A. in Writing from the interdisciplinary Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College ('10).

  • Academic Program Manager, Program in Early Cultures


    Sarah Sharpe is Academic Program Manager for the Program in Early Cultures, and the Assistant Director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. Prior to coming to Brown University, she was Director of Finance and Grants Management at Real Art Ways, a community arts center in Hartford, Connecticut, as well as a mediator and facilitator.

Steering Committee

  • Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World and Egyptology and Assyriology, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture

    Laurel Bestock's research focuses on the material culture of the Nile Valley. She is particularly interested in kingship, monumentality, the contexts and audiences for art and architecture, and cultural interactions.

  • John Bodel

    W. Duncan MacMillan II Professor of Classics, Professor of History

    John Bodel studies ancient Roman social, economic, and cultural history and Latin literature, especially of the empire. Much of his research involves inscriptions, and he has special interests in Roman religion, slavery, funerals and burial customs, ancient writing systems, the editing of Latin epigraphic and literary texts, and Latin prose authors. Since 1995, he has directed the U.S.

  • Associate Professor of History, Associate Professor of Classics

    Jonathan P. Conant's research focuses on the inter-regional integration of the Mediterranean and the transition from antiquity to the middle ages.

  • Johanna Hanink

    Associate Professor of Classics

    Johanna Hanink earned her PhD in Classics from the University of Cambridge (Queens' College). Her work in classics focused on classical Athens, particularly the cultural life of the city's fourth century BCE. She is also interested in the intersections between modern politics and ideas about ancient Greece (and antiquity more generally).

  • Dupee Family Professor of Social Science

    Stephen Houston's research interests include archaeology; kingship and court systems; body concepts in antiquity; writing systems; epigraphy and decipherment; architecture and urbanism; Classic Maya; South America; Europe. He is concluding excavations at the Classic Maya city of El Zotz, Guatemala, and has finished five seasons of work at the ruins of Piedras Negras, Guatemala.

  • Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture

    Jeffrey Moser specializes in the artistic and intellectual history of China during the Song era (tenth to thirteenth centuries AD), with a particular focus on the ways in which sensory engagement with material things transformed cognition and behavior.

  • Associate Professor of Egyptology and Assyriology

    Matthew Rutz works in the field of Assyriology, the interdisciplinary study of texts written in the cuneiform ("wedge-shaped") writing system from ancient Mesopotamia, traditionally the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (present-day Iraq, Syria, and Turkey).

  • Andrew Scherer

    Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World

    Andrew Scherer is an anthropological archaeologist and biological anthropologist with a geographic focus in Mesoamerica (Maya). He co-directs an interdisciplinary archaeological research project that is exploring Classic Maya polities along the Usumacinta River in Mexico.

  • Parker VanValkenburgh

    Assistant Professor of Anthropology

    Parker VanValkenburgh is an archaeologist whose research focuses on landscapes, politics and environmental change in the Early Modern World – particularly, in late prehispanic and early colonial Peru. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from Harvard University and previously held positions at the University of Vermont (Assistant Prof. of Anthropology, 2013-15) and Washington University in St.