This page lists our special events. Please also consult the listings for our regular CRAM and Graduate Forum meetings in the page menu.

Disability in Antiquity: A Panel Discussion on Normativity and Variance in the Premodern World

Part of the PEC Workshop series

Panelists: Saul Olyan (Religious Studies, Brown University), Joel Christensen (Classical  Studies, Brandeis University), Cicek Beeby (JIAAW, Brown University)
March 8th, 2023, 5:45-7:00 pm, RI Hall 108


Environmental Archaeology in the Anthropocene

A PEC speaker series organised by Amanda Gaggioli (JIAAW) and R. Sandy Hunter (Anthropology)

Lecture 1: Local Ecological Knowledge and Imperial Demands in Agricultural Practice

John M. Marston, Boston University

February 24, 2023, 4:00-6:30pm, RI Hall 108

Lecture 2: Haunted Landscapes: The Archeology of Slow Violence and Slow Activism

Haeden E. Stewart, UMass Amherst

Tuesday, March 14th, 4:00-6:30 pm, Urban Environment Laboratory 106


Lecture 3: Kathleen Morrison

April 25, 2023, 4:00-6:30pm


Future events for Spring 2023 (exact schedule TBA)



Topographies of pre-Modern Dance—Comparative Perspectives

Felipe Rojas (JIAAW and E&A); Sarah Olson (Williams College)
A workshop bringing together literary historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists to explore topographies of dance and related kinesthetic practices in two distinct cultural environments: the Greek and Roman Mediterranean and the colonial Americas. We seek to explore such questions as: Why did people dance where they did? How did the places where they danced impact or inform their movements? How did performers, in turn, transform places by dancing? What did place add to performance and vice-versa? How did the performance of dance engage with mythic and imaginary spaces? The study of ancient dance has been dynamized by cross-pollination with theoretical discourses on contemporary performance studies. The organizers, both trained as classicists, are convinced that it can also be enlivened by engaging in dialogue among specialists working in traditions which, though temporally, geographically, and culturally diverse, considered kinesthetic performance of central cultural importance. This workshop thus engages with the ongoing critical attention to site-specific and place-based work in dance and performance studies, as well as the burgeoning interest in comparative and cross-cultural analysis in ancient and pre-modern studies.

Environmental Archaeology in the Anthropocene

Amanda Gaggioli (JIAAW) and R. Sandy Hunter (Anthropology)

Since the introduction of the concept in the early 2000s, ‘the Anthropocene’—denoting an era of totalizing anthropogenic transformation of earth’s systems at a global scale—has increasingly focused debate in the environmental social sciences. Researchers debate when the Anthropocene began (varying from 10,000 years ago with the onset of agriculture to the mid-20th century coinciding the ‘Great Acceleration’), and also the political valences of widespread adoption of the term. Archaeologists in particular have challenged the indoctrination of the Anthropocene as a geological age as it overlooks the deep history of persistent human impacts on the environment. Archaeologists have demonstrated such contingencies of human-environment relationships across time and space. However, a challenge in communicating environmental archaeology to debates over the Anthropocene and broader environmental politics is misconstruing current and recent global scales of anthropogenic global transformation as an inevitable part of ‘human nature.’ This challenge results from the Anthropocene concept’s recasting of a dominant ontology of humans as apart from or separate and outside ‘nature,’ even as it also emphasizes the historicity of the non-human world. In light of these broad debates and challenges, this speaker series for spring 2023 asks a more particular question: how should the discipline of environmental archaeology, which traditionally focuses on spatially and temporally contingent dynamics of human relationships with the environment, attend to the political urgencies brought on by perspectives like the Anthropocene and its derivatives (e.g., pyrocene, capitalocene, plantationocene), or alternative formulations like “world ecology” that are by definition planetary in scope? In proposing this workshop series, we ask participants to consider how research at the intersection of the environment, society, and archaeology might recuperate a perspective that emphasizes local and spatially contingent human-environment relationships, while simultaneously speaking to conversations at a global scale. Our concerns extend beyond scales of analysis. We are also interested in how environmental archaeology—a discipline that by definition illuminates relationships between environment and society in the past—might be responsive to contemporary crises, including of biodiversity loss, global heating, and pollution of air and water–phenomena that are global in scope but experienced in highly unequal ways along intersections of race, class, gender, and latitude.

Epigraphic Inscription in Tang-Song China

Jeffrey Moser (History of Art and Architecture)

This workshop will focus on new approaches to the interpretation of stone inscriptions in ninth to eleventh century China. This was a period that witnessed both the emergence of the Chinese discipline of epigraphy (jinshixue)—the systematic collection, preservation, and study of earlier stone inscriptions—and the development of a number of new kinds of inscriptive  practice, including the widespread practice of re-inscribing old inscriptions. The workshop will explore the relationships among these complex, entangled practices of interpreting old inscriptions and making new ones.

Disability in Antiquity

Cicek Beeby (JIAAW)

A roundtable (3-4 speakers) on the topic of disability in the ancient world. The goal is to put scholars who work on the intersection of disability studies, Classics, archaeology, and/or art history in conversation with each other in order to look at our sources on disability and trauma in the ancient world from multiple perspectives.


Fall 2022

Deep Displacement:  Excavating the History of Migration and Settlement
Friday, October 7th, 9:30 am - 5 pm
Peterutti Lounge, Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center

A Workshop at Brown University

Sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Humanities Initiative Programming Fund, and the Program in Early Cultures


Anna Agbe-Davies (UNC Chapel Hill)
Yannis Hamilakis (Brown)
Michelle Lelievre (William and Mary)
Yoli Ngandali (University of Washington)
Matthew Reilly (City College)
Melissa Rosenzweig (Northwestern)
Mudit Trivedi (Stanford)
Parker VanValkenburgh (Brown)
Terence Weik (University of South Carolina)


9:30 am - 10:45 am -           Settlement and Subjectivity in Assyria and South Asia
10:45 am - 12:00 pm -         Settlement and Racial Dialectics in the Colonial Americas
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm -             Black Migration and Mobility in the Atlantic and the United States
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm -             Mobility and Resilience in Native North America
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm -             Commentary and Discussion

Writing Global Histories Today, September 16 – September 17, 2022

This two-day symposium brings together an international cohort of scholars to discuss the challenges of writing global histories today, including the epistemological difficulties of analogic and comparative thinking and the political implications of such histories for the present and future of global societies. What are the stakes of writing global histories today? Who should write global histories? And how?

Graduate Student Lunch held by the Program in Early Cultures on September 28th, 2022 in Horace Mann, Rms. 102 and 103

Come and find out about more about the Program in Early Cultures and our graduate student programming. At this lunch we will launch the Graduate Certificate in Early Cultures, a certificate open to students in any Brown PhD program; and relaunch the PEC Graduate Forum, a series of events bringing together all grad students working in early cultures across Brown. Graduate students from all disciplines, and faculty supervising graduate students in all disciplines, are welcome.  Please RSVP no later than September 25th to