Comparative Antiquity

Comparative Antiquity's lunch discussion group, “Who and What Made the Past”, May 3, 2018. In attendance: Nathan Arrington (ART), Andrew Ford (CLA), Nino Luraghi (CLA), André Laks (Visitor, CLA), Xi’an Guo (Visitor, EAS), Zhuming Yao (EAS), Martin Kern (EAS, not pictured), Brooke Holmes (CLA), Yuzhou Bai (EAS), Federico Marcon (EAS), Denis Feeney (CLA), Caroline Mann (CLA), Mark Letteney (REL), Andrew Feldherr (CLA), Tom Davies (CLA), Helmut Reimitz (HIS), and AnneMarie Luijendijk (REL).

The Comparative Antiquity Research and Teaching Collaboration is a three-year, multifaceted research and teaching initiative under the auspices of the Humanities Council’s Global Initiative. In 2018-19 it is in its first year.

The Collaboration will pursue the development of a new paradigm toward the study of “global antiquity” that is extensive in geographical and chronological scope and inclusive in disciplinary participation and methodologies. It aims to transform the research and study of antiquity, broadly conceived at Princeton, in hopes of providing a model for similar change elsewhere. It includes participants from multiple departments and programs across campus as well as from the Princeton University Library and the Princeton University Art Museum. Premised on cooperative endeavor and intended to stimulate new and innovative thinking and learning between and across our established academic fields of study, projects should be co-initiated. The Collaboration welcomes inquiries from faculty and graduate students from two or more departments with interests that may extend from antiquity through the early medieval period broadly conceived, up to ca. 1000 CE. Engagement with the exceptional resources in both the Princeton University Library and Art Museum is warmly encouraged.

Inquiries or proposals for activities to take place in AY19-20 and 20-21 should be sent to Martin Kern (, Project Director.

Course Development

The work of the Collaboration is primed for team-teaching that reaches across disciplines. We are enthusiastically seeking proposals that envision new ways to expand existing course offerings.

  1. Summer stipends are available for regular faculty who develop a new, team-taught undergraduate course that will be home-based in the Program in Humanistic Studies. Faculty stipends for summer 2019 are available for the design of 2020 courses.
  2. Faculty are further encouraged to develop team-taught graduate courses, though graduate course development is not eligible for summer stipends. However, additional funds are available for other course activities, both undergraduate and graduate.

Proposals for Comparative Antiquity-related courses must have a letter of support from the Chair or Director of the department or program that will serve as the primary designation for the course and provide the FTE. The Humanities Council can sometimes offer partial or full FTE for courses primarily designated HUM (e.g., HUM capstone seminars).

Undergraduate course-related travel

Support for international travel, typically scheduled during either Fall or Spring Break, to enrich undergraduate courses relevant to the Collaboration is available. Costs will be shared with other campus units.

Graduate student (research) workshops

Graduate students from different departments or disciplines are invited to develop a 1-day or 1 ½-day workshop. Applications specifying the theme and including a draft call should be accompanied by an endorsement from the relevant department chair(s).

Faculty/graduate student reading and discussion groups

Faculty members are invited to convene a semester-long bi-weekly reading and discussion group, typically over lunch, with faculty and graduate students from multiple departments.


We welcome suggested destinations for faculty and graduate student day trips to relevant exhibitions or events within the region.

Graduate student (research) support

We anticipate funding graduate students to prepare interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research bibliographies on specific topics. Over time, these bibliographies will be distributed and continuously updated online. Other research proposals toward the furthering of Comparative Antiquity can be considered, keeping in mind that funds cannot be used to assist with individual faculty research.

International interdisciplinary graduate student workshops

We look for suggested topics, formats, or instructional teams to prepare weeklong workshops where several instructors from different fields work with graduate students from both Princeton and around the world. There are opportunities for these intensive events to be held on campus typically in the months of January or June, or during Spring or Fall break. Honoraria, travel and lodging of visiting instructors, student accommodation, meals, and other costs will be shared with other campus units.

Short-term academic visitors

We invite proposals from faculty members who identify two scholars who may be hosted as concurrent short-term visitors. Ideally the identified scholars will be from two different fields. During their residence on campus, events would be structured to put their perspectives in conversation with each other and with Princeton faculty and students.

Long-term academic visitors and postdoctoral fellows

We invite nominations of a distinguished visiting scholar to be hosted for one semester. The visitor would teach, or co-teach with a Princeton faculty member, one course in an area not usually available at Princeton, and further participate in other on-campus activities related to Comparative Antiquity. Alternatively, a yearlong postdoctoral fellow may be hosted who likewise would be engaged in co-teaching. Candidates should have the usual supporting letters and a letter of endorsement from a department or program agreeing to offer the course and guaranteeing the provision of facilities and space.

Collaborative research support for faculty

Two or more Princeton faculty may design a collaborative research project that transcends national cultures, methodologies, or historical periods.

Annual academic conference

Thematically focused, small-scale conferences on Comparative Antiquity may be organized either on campus or at the Princeton Athens Center.

Faculty travel seminars

We anticipate conducting international study trips for small groups of faculty to one or more countries/sites of interest, facilitated by individual Princeton faculty in collaboration with local hosts. We invite suggestions to identify locations and connections. Costs will be shared with other units on campus.

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