Kirk Lecture Series

Made possible by generous grants from the Kirk Foundation, this annual interdisciplinary lecture series in the Program in Ancient Studies (the predecessor of the Program in Early Cultures) examined topics of broad interest involving the ancient world and was held from 2001-02 through 2005-06.

Read more about the series here.


KIRK LECTURE SERIES 2005-6 Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre-Modern Societies (Wiley-Blackwell)
Geography, Ethnography, and Perceptions of the Ancient World in Antiquity

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006, 5:30 p.m.
Natalia Lozovsky (University of Colorado, Denver)
“Geography and Ethnography in Medieval Europe: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Concerns”

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006, 5:30 p.m.
David Buisseret (University of Texas, San Antonio)
“Europeans Plot the Wider World, 1500-1750”

March 6, 2006, 5:30 p.m.
Nancy Shoemaker (University of Connecticut, Storrs)
“American Indian Maps: Divinity, Territory, and Politicking”


Writing and History in the Ancient World

Monday, Sept. 27, 2004, 8 pm:
Chase Robinson (Oxford University)
“Traditionalism and the Rise of Islamic Historiography”

Monday, Oct. 4, 2004, 8 pm:
Deborah Boedeker and Kurt Raaflaub (Brown University)

Monday, Oct. 18, 2004, 8 pm:
Elizabeth Boone (Tulane University)
“Pictorial Histories of Aztec Mexico”

Monday, November 1, 2004, 8 pm:
Marc Van De Mieroop (Columbia University)
“Perceptions of the Past in Ancient Mesopotamia”

Monday, November 15, 2004, 8 pm:
Marc Brettler (Brandeis University)
“The Historical Texts of the Bible and the Bible as History”

Monday, November 29, 2004, 8 pm:
Wai-Yee Li (Harvard University)
“Guises of the historian in Early Chinese Historiography”


Origins and Functions of Writing in Ancient Civilizations

Monday, Sept.15, 2003
Leonard Lesko (Brown University)
8:00 pm, Salomon 001

Monday, Sept. 29, 2003
Piotr Michalowski (University of Michigan)
8:00 pm, Salomon 001

Monday, Oct.. 20, 2003
Mark Lewis (Stanford University)
8:00 pm, Salomon 001

Monday, Nov. 10, 2003
Stephen Houston (Brigham Young University)
8:00 pm, Salomon 001

Monday, Nov. 24, 2003
Michael Witzel (Harvard University)
8:00 pm, Salomon 001


KIRK LECTURE SERIES 2002-3War and Peace in the Ancient World (Wiley-Blackwell)
War, Peace, and Reconciliation in the Ancient World

Monday, February 3, 2003, 7.30 pm
Benjamin Foster (Yale University): "Water under the Straw: Mesopotamian Concepts of Peace"

Monday, February 24, 2003, 8 pm, Smith Buonanno 106
Fred Donner (University of Chicago): "War, Peace, and Communal Identity in Early Islam"

Friday, March 7,  7-10 pm and Saturday, March 8,  9 am -5 pm
Smith-Buonnano Hall 106 - Brown University

Friday, March 7th, 2003:

7 pm Kurt A Raaflaub (Chair, Program in Ancient Studies)
Welcome and Introduction

7:10 pm Robin Yates (McGill University, Montreal):
"Making War and Making Peace in Early China"

8:30 pm Susan Niditch (Amherst College):
"Warviews in Ancient Israel"

Stanley Stowers (Dept. of Religious Studies, Brown University):
"Reflections from An Early Christian Perspective"

Saturday, March 8th, 2003:

9 am Lawrence Tritle (Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles):
"Laughing for Joy: The Greeks on War and Peace"

David Konstan (Dept. of Classics, Brown University):
"Further Relections: Greek Literary and Philosophical Perspectives"

10:30 am Coffee Break

10:45 am Nathan Rosenstein (Ohio State University):
"Whoever Desires Peace, Let Him Prepare for War: War and Peace at Rome"

Jeri DeBrohun (Dept. of Classics, Brown University):
"Reflections from Roman Literary Perspectives: The Gates of War"

12:15 pm Lunch

2 pm Ross Hassig (University of Oklahoma):
"Peace, Reconciliation and Alliance in Aztec Mexico"

3 pm Coffee Break

3:20 pm Panel Discussion: "War, Peace, and Reconciliation: Modern Perspectives on an Ancient Theme"
Omar Bartov (History)
Neta Crawford (Watson Institute)
P. Terrence Hopmann (Political Science)

Made possible by generous grants of the Kirk Foundation, the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, and the Charles K. Colver Lecturships Fund at Brown University, with further support by the Department of Classics and the Program in Ancient Studies.

For further information: Maria Sokolova, (401) 863-1994

All events are free and open to the public.



Perceptions and Representations of the Past in Ancient Civilizations

Monday, October 1, 2001
Erich Gruen (University of California at Berkeley)
“Cultural Borrowings: Fiction and Fable in the Fabrication of the Past”
7:30 pm, Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Monday, October 22, 2001
Philip Rousseau (Catholic University)
“Early Christian ‘Schooling’: Old Rules Put to New Purpose”
7:30 pm, Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Monday, November 5, 2001
Fred Kleiner (Boston University)
“Representing and Misrepresenting the Past in Roman Art”
7:30 pm , Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Monday, December 10, 2001
Richard Davis (Brown University)
“Caste and Moral Women in the Historical Writings of 11th Century China”
7:30 pm, Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Monday, February 4, 2002
Peter Machinist (Harvard University)
“The Voice of the Historian in the Ancient Near East”
7:30 pm, Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Monday, February 25, 2002
Jan Assmann (University of Heidelberg and Yale University)
“Meaning and History: Representing the Past in Egypt and the Ancient Near East”
7:30 pm, Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Monday, March 11, 2002
Anthony Grafton (Princeton University)
“The Past as Text: Premodern Ways of Representing Historical Time”
7:30 pm, Smith-Buonanno, Room 106