I will be participating in a 10-day-long study course for graduate students in Rome this summer, based at the lovely Hungarian Academy on Via Giulia. The topic is “Wealth and Poverty in Late Antiquity,” and we have a wonderful roster of scholars teaching, including Marianne Saghy (CEU), Kim Bowes (American Academy in Rome), and Michele Salzman (UC Riverside).
The course invites applications from PhD and MA students specialized in Late Antique history, theology, philosophy, literature, archaeology, law, art history and gender studies.
The theme of the 2015 course, “Wealth and Poverty in Late Antique Rome” is recognized as one of the most important and most innovative research problems concerning Late Antiquity. The course provides a systematic, research-oriented introduction to the study of all aspects – economic, social, and symbolical — of wealth and poverty in a pre-modern society. It combines research and on-the-spot instruction within the framework of a uniquely innovative course. A vibrant multicultural society, fourth-fifth century Rome fostered the most far-reaching and the most significant social, religious and cultural changes that marked not only the transition from the Classical to the medieval world, but our contemporary concerns and attitude to wealth and poverty as well. The poor did not exist as a social category in the Classical city. “Poverty” emerged in late ancient Christianity as a social group, as a concept and as a program. Poverty became an ideal to realize on earth as the sign of following Christ, whereas ascetic discourse criticized wealth and the rich.
Our specialized interdisciplinary course will provide a full panorama of the fundamental change that took place in Late Antiquity in the concept of wealth and poverty. The on-the-spot full immersion training for PhD and MA students gives an opportunity for young researchers to meet with leading specialists in the field and to discuss up-to-date scholarship concerning Rome’s political, social, religious and material culture in Late Antiquity. The course invites students and lecturers from different disciplines to bring their specialists’ skills and knowledge and to engage into a creative dialogue. Because of the interdisciplinary collaboration new questions of wider significance will be asked and explored. These new questions will, in turn, enrich each student’s own specialist research and help him to establish an international network as an early career researcher. This interdisciplinary course links research and problem-based learning, offering a formation focused on inquiry and on-the-spot experimentation of monuments as well as new interdisciplinary approaches to co-teaching. We will use new technologies to support learning, such as new software and video documentation: the project includes a documentary on “Learning Late Antique Rome”.
For additional information, please see the website.