‘Modern Classicisms’ explores the interface between ancient Greek and Roman visual culture and the modern and contemporary artistic imagination.
The project is led by Dr Michael Squire, and has received funding from various sources since its launch in 2017.
The first phase resulted in a major exhibition on The Classical Now in spring 2018, presented in partnership with MACM (Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins). The show was the largest exhibition in the institutional history of King’s College London, and was staged across Bush House and Somerset House East Wing.
Alongside ancient Greek and Roman objects in marble, bronze, ceramic and mosaic, The Classical Now exhibited works by Edward Allington, Pablo Bronstein, Léo Caillard, Jean Cocteau, Michael Craig-Martin, André Derain, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel, Derek Jarman, Yves Klein, Louise Lawler, Christopher Le Brun, Roy Lichtenstein, George Henry Longly, Ursula Mayer, Henry Moore, Bruce Nauman, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Giulio Paolini, Grayson Perry, Frances Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Marc Quinn, Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Sacha Sosno, Mark Wallinger and Rachel Whiteread.
It was accompanied by a book, featuring essays and interviews with leading British and international artists.
The project has involved three student ambassadors to date: two of the MA students involved have since been awarded LAHP funding to undertake doctoral research in the Department. Further information about the project – including videos, photographs, upcoming activities and a blog – can be found on the project’s website.
Neo-Latin poetry in English verse miscellanies
Neo-Latin verse in English manuscript verse miscellanies, c. 1550-1720 (June 2017-June 2021), funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
This project aims to survey for the first time the enormous quantity of neo-Latin (that is, contemporary Latin) verse preserved in early modern English manuscript sources. The project team hope to restore to scholarly visibility the ‘Latin dimension’ of the bilingual literary culture of sixteenth and seventeenth century England: a period in which Latin (not English) was an international language, and in which not only the reading but also the writing of Latin verse was a significant element in all secondary education.
By looking at manuscript sources, one can gain an understanding of both the neo-Latin verse that was being written, but also the neo-Latin poetry (often originating elsewhere in Europe) that was being most widely read and circulated.
In addition to the PI, the project team consists of Dr Bianca Facchini, a full-time post-doctoral researcher (2017-20); two fully-funded PhD students, Sharon van Dijk and Raffaella Colombo; and, in due course, a second full-time post-doctoral researcher (2019-21). All transcriptions are being encoded in XML/TEI to maximise the transferability of the data and its utility to participating institutions (such as libraries and archives).
View our project blog for more information.
Classics and Disability Studies
Classics has yet to engage with disability studies in a way comparable with other areas of identity politics, such as gender, sexuality and ethnicity. This pilot project, led by Dr Ellen Adams and funded by the Wellcome Trust and the King's London Challenge Fund (2017-19), explores the potential of such an engagement.
Key research outputs/events to date:
‘Access all senses: “looking” at art using a visual language or as a visually-impaired person.’
This event was curated in the Courtauld Gallery in April 2018. It involved audio describers and deaf art tour leaders (with BSL interpreters), who demonstrated audio description and sign language as alternative modes of communication for art. This will be followed up by similar events in the British Museum and the V&A.
‘The Forgotten Other: Disability Studies and the Classical Body.’
This international conference drew together scholars from Classics and disability studies under bridging themes, such as ‘bioethics’ and ‘cultural representations’.
Visit the dedicated Museum Access Network for Sensory Impairments website for more information.
Classics and Class
Classics and Class in Britain 1789-1939 is a project that was funded by the AHRC (£424,482) between 1/1/2013 and 1/5/2016 by Edith Hall (PI) and Henry Stead (PDRA, now OU). The project investigates the lost voices of British working-class people who engaged with ancient Greek and Roman culture throughout the period. It corrects the neglect suffered by the evidence, much of it archival, for contact with Classics produced by working-class people (autobiographies, memoirs, letters, records of recreational activities, political banners, leaflets). The period under examination is that when class identity and conflict in Britain were acute and self-conscious.
Key outputs include:
- The website, with podcasts, videos and an archive of 207 ‘encounters’ with historical individuals
- E. Hall and H. Stead, A People’s History of Classics (forthcoming, Routledge)
- H. Stead and E. Hall (2015, eds.) Greek and Roman Classics in the British Struggle for Social Reform (Bloomsbury).
- Fifteen further articles, all available to read online
The Art of Making in Antiquity: Stoneworking in the Roman World
The Art of Making in Antiquity: Stoneworking in the Roman World was a two-year research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust between 2011 and 2013. The Principle Investigator was Dr Will Wootton (Department of Classics) and the Co-Investigator John Bradley (Department of Digital Humanities), working with Dr Ben Russell, Dr Emma Libonati, Dr Michele Pasin and Brian Maher.
The website combines images with commentary, traditional essays on stoneworking and videos of carving in action. Together they bring the making process to life and are intended to engage a diverse audience.The key output was a dedicated website where visitors can explore the tools, materials and processes used in the making of Roman stone monuments.
Centred on the photographic archive of Peter Rockwell, the online resource enhances our understanding of the physical nature of stoneworking and investigates the relationship between the surviving objects, the techniques of production and the practices of their makers.