Conference Proceedings

Our main conference site will be the Science and Engineering Complex. Other events—the Thursday night reception, Saturday banquet, and Sunday museum visits—will take place at different venues. Parking is available at each venue, with the advance purchase of a parking pass. Please see the Parking & Transportation page for more details on purchasing a parking pass and on getting to the SEC.

Registration Materials

You may pick up registration materials either at the Reception (starting at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday) or outside the main conference room (with the start of breakfast on Friday and Saturday).

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Starting at 5:15 p.m., you may pick up registration materials outside the entrance to reception hall.


Reception, Main Dining Room, Harvard Faculty Club (20 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138)

Friday, April 19, 2024

Science and Engineering Complex, 150 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134

Panels 1 & 2: Room LL2.224 [the 2nd lower level floor]

Panels 3 & 4: Room 1.321 (Winokur Family Hall) [on the ground floor]

From 7:45–12:45 p.m.,  you may pick up registration materials directly outside room LL2.224. After 12:45 p.m., registration will be moved to outside the Winokur Family Hall.


Continental breakfast


Panel 1: God, History, and the Anthropocene (Chair: Paul Kosmin)

Rotem Avneri Meir (University of Helsinki), God and King in History: Reflections from Hellenistic Judea

James Taylor (Colby College), The Temptations of the Anthropocene and the Challenges of Deep Time

Zsuzsanna Varhelyi (Boston University), Ultimate judgments: our epic sense of the superhuman in history

Coffee break


Panel 2: Focal Points and Blind Spots (Chair: Giovanni Bazzana)

Zachary Herz (University of Colorado, Boulder), Cassius Dio, Italian Volksrecht and the Trouble with Legal Pluralism

Deirdre Klokow (The University of Texas at Austin), Empires From the Ground Up – Writing Non-elite Histories of the Hellenistic World

Seth Richardson (University of Chicago), Mapped and Myopic Worlds: On the Poverty of Babylonian Toponymy

Lunch (not provided)


Panel 3: Beyond the Mediterranean? (Chair: Michael Puett)

Céline Debourse (Harvard University), Priests and kings: negotiating empire in Seleucid Babylonia 

Jeremy Simmons (University of Maryland), Beyond Mediterraneanism: Ancient Indian Ocean thalassology on its own terms

Leighton Smith (University of California, Irvine), Losing a Child but Gaining Latin: Imperial Languages and Suffering Beyond the Mediterranean

Coffee break


Panel 4: Open Panel 1 (Chair: Adriaan Lanni)

Deborah Kamen (University of Washington), Reconsidering the Status of “Privileged Slaves” in Classical Athens

Flavio Santini (University of California, Berkeley), On the origins of public debt: the 5th cent. B.C.

Stephen Shennan (Harvard University), Old Tools and New Uses: Oaths in the Roman Republic and Early Principate

Yuan Zhang (University of California, Berkeley), Purchasing Honor: Honorific Statue as Prerequisite for Civic Benefaction in the Roman West


AAH Business Meeting

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Science and Engineering Complex, 150 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134

Room 1.321 (Winokur Family Hall)

Starting at 8:15 a.m., you may pick up registration materials outside room 1.321.


Continental breakfast


Panel 5: The Exploited: Questions (Chair: Irene Soto Marín)

Chance Bonar (Tufts University), The Archive, Agency, and the Study of Ancient Mediterranean Slavery

Kimberly Bowes (University of Pennsylvania),The Exploited: Category and Practice

Sarah Levin-Richardson (University of Washington), Wet-nursing and affective expectations in the Roman Empire

Coffee break


Panel 6: Complex Origins: Racial Formations and Ancient Mediterranean Identities (Chair: Emily Greenwood)

Gaia Gianni (The Ohio State University), Collactanei and milk-siblings: from ancient Rome to modern Islamic practice

Jinyu Liu (Emory University), Fluid and Complex Ethnicities among the Enslaved and Freed Persons in the Early Roman Empire

Iain Mathieson (University of Pennsylvania), Ancient DNA and the evolution of ancestry

Lunch (not provided)


Panel 7: Open Panel 2 (Chair: Rachel Love)

Brandon Bourgeois (USC David and Dana Dornsife), Fictions Made “Elsewhere than at Rome”: the dies imperii and Lex de imperio of Vespasian

Phoebe Hyun (Harvard University), Seeing Scent: Constructing ‘Others’ through Scent in Ancient Rome

Louis Polcin (University of Pennsylvania), God Bless our Troops? Theological Underpinnings of Provincial Revolts

Jonathan Price (Brown University), “Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, is Seated on the Throne Like Marduk-shapik-zeri”: Uses of the Past in Neo-Assyrian Babylonia

Coffee break


Panel 8: The AAH at Fifty and Looking Forward (Chair: Emma Dench)

Serena Connolly (Rutgers University), The AAH at Fifty

Ronnie Ancona (Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Program) and Sarah Pomeroy (Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Program), “Muted” and “Hidden from History”: Foregrounding the Lives of Women

Kathleen Coleman (Harvard University), Looking back at Ernst Badian

Luke Madson (Rutgers University) and Kathryn LaPenna (Trinity College, Dublin) in conversation on animal history, comparative history, and ancient histories of the future


Banquet, Harvard Natural History Museum (26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138) 

Please note that the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s front entrance at 26 Oxford Street is not accessible. An accessible entrance is located on the left side of the building at the North Entrance.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

32 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138

AAH participants are welcome to attend any of the tours of the Harvard Art Museums below.  

Ancient Galleries Tour

10:30 a.m., with Sarah Eisen (PhD Candidate in Classical Archaeology)

Spotlight Tours at the Harvard Art Museums

There will also be three student-led “spotlight” tours of the Harvard Art Museums, which will start outside the museum shop in the Calderwood Courtyard. These are conversational, thematic tours featuring three pieces of art. Please see full details below. Note that tours are limited to 17 people and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

10:25–11:15 a.m. 

Women’s Health and Art with Eve Crompton ’24

Eve Crompton will analyze historical social attitudes toward female health and illness as she examines a selection of representations of women in art. She will look at Grave Stele of a Young Girl, “Melisto” (Greek, c. 340 BCE); the painting Mother and Child (c. 1901), which Pablo Picasso was inspired to make after visiting a French prison hospital; and Erich Heckel’s painting To the Convalescent Woman (Triptych) (1912–13). An integrative biology student, Crompton aims to address the health inequalities perpetuated by structural barriers and individual prejudices, empowering women to claim the equitable care they deserve. Note: this tour is arranged specifically for AAH 2024 participants.

10:25–11:15 a.m.

Selective Memories with Aidan Scully ’25

On this tour, Aidan Scully ’25 will explore how people have been (mis)remembered through art and what stories developed around those memories over time. The stops on the tour are Bearded Man, Possibly Emperor Macrinus, a battered Roman sculpture from the early to mid-third century; a Persian tombstone from the Seljuk-Atabeg period (1117); and Henry Inman’s 1832–34 painting [Tah-Col-o-Quoit (Rising Cloud)], a copy after Charles Bird King’s now-destroyed original. Note: this tour is arranged specifically for AAH 2024 participants.

11:00–11:50 a.m.

Origins and Impacts of Color with Erik Zou ’24

On this tour, Erik Zou ’24 will discuss the material nature of color in art, referencing the museums’ Forbes Pigment Collection, and the role of color in three different works: Sandro Botticelli’s painting The Virgin and Child (c. 1490); a porcelain jar decorated with two dragons from Jingdezhen, China (Ming dynasty, late 16th–early 17th century); and Claude Monet’s painting The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train (1877). Note: this is a public tour. Since space is limited, please consider arriving early to secure your spot.