Works in Progress Workshop




  • Faculty Works in Progress: Michael Puett (EALC)

Wed., Apr. 28, 2021, 12 – 1 P.M.

"How to Read a Text: Debates in Early China on Interpretation and Understanding"


  • Faculty Works in Progress: Irene Peirano Garrison (Classics)

Wed., Apr. 7, 2021, 12 – 1 P.M.

"Challenging outer boundaries: canon, theology and Latin literature"

Moving between an analysis of the canon as a critical mechanism and a focus on the physical limits and definition of Latin literature, the chapter reviews the very discourse of the canon and its impact on the field. The “canonized” nature of the classics determines not just a hierarchy of texts and methodologies worthier of being taught and researched but also informs the very approach to non-canonical or ‘para-canonical’ texts. The canon in other words is not just about what we study, it is also about how we study it. Opening up the canon is a dynamic and self-reinforcing process and one which involves both readers that embody difference (social, racial, gender etc.) accessing and studying an expanded and evolving canon, and texts (peripheral, post-classical, marginal etc.) that embody difference being ‘read into’ the canon by an increasingly diverse readership.


  • Faculty Works in Progress: Shaye Cohen (NELC)

Wed., Feb. 24, 2021, 12 – 1 P.M

Parting of the ways in Antioch in 386/7 CE as seen by John Chrysostom"


  • Faculty Works in Progress: Charles Stang (HDS)

Wed., Nov. 11, 2020, 12 – 1 P.M.

"An Invitation to Syriac Christianity"


  • Faculty Works in Progress: Jason Ur (Anthropology)

Wed., Oct. 14, 2020, 12 – 1 P.M.

"Landscape and Empire in Ancient Assyria: The Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey"

This presentation is intended to introduce myself to the Ancient Studies community and, in the spirit of “Work in Progress,” describe the aims and current results of a landscape archaeology project in what is today the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, but was 3000 years ago the core of the Assyrian empire. I will briefly describe the field of landscape archaeology and its applications in the Ancient Near East before turning to the Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey, a Harvard-led research project which is describing the landscape of the core of empire. The project aims to test the veracity of Biblical and Assyrian accounts of landscape and demographic transformations under the agency of generations of kings. The project’s methods include textual analysis, satellite and aerial remote sensing, and field survey. I will review the results of the project since its inception in 2012, with special focus on the landscape transformations under the Assyrians, the demographic collapse under the Seleucids, the remarkable urban resurgence under the Parthians/Arsacids, and the low-density monastic (?) settlements under Sasanian rule.


  • Faculty Works in Progress: Rachel Love (Classics)

Wed., Sep. 30, 2020, 12 – 2 P.M.

"In Short, the Republic: Florus and the (Re)Written Republic"

This paper explores the legacy of ab urbe condita historiography under the Principate. Beginning with Fabius Pictor, historiography was born in Rome as a practice that sought to record the entire timeline of Roman history, yet this traditional mode of writing found both apex and end in Livy. After the Ab Urbe Condita, imperial Latin writers turned to abbreviated formats (i.e. epitomes) to write histories that attempted to record the full Roman timeline. Using Florus’ Epitome as a case study, the paper investigates the role that historical epitome played in revitalizing traditional modes of Republican historiography under the Principate. It situates Florus within the context of contemporary Latin literature of the 2nd century and argues that the author leverages the unique formal aspects of epitome to mediate the same perceived breakdown in public discourse that permeates his contemporaries’ writings.

bookshelf with helmet and books
Harvard University News Office, Kris Snibbe, Staff Photographer