Mohssen Esseesy, Department Chair
Mohssen Esseesy, Department Chair
Welcome to the relaunched newsletter of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (CNELC)—a vibrant and diverse community of faculty, staff and students sharing a common purpose of advancing knowledge and connecting the past to the present.
I am happy to share with you some exciting news from our department. We ushered in this academic year with the faculty approval of the revised Classical Studies major to an expanded Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies major. This revised major harnesses the collective expertise of our faculty and meets the academic and professional needs of our students. The revised major will be in effect for the next academic year.
This academic year also is the first in which the students in the Business Arabic class will have the chance to partake in a short-term study in Oman, which is led by me during the 2019 Spring Break. Across all our six languages—Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Persian and Turkish—students continue to receive free tutoring, as outside support for classroom learning.
We are excited to stay in touch with you and provide you with notable news and information about our CNELC community. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected], we hope to hear from you soon.
Katherine Wasdin (fifth from right) at the Eta Sigma Phi induction ceremony.
Katherine Wasdin has been busy this semester with an exciting new class on Women in the Ancient World, in addition to teaching a great group of students in Intro Greek. With her book on wedding and love poetry (Eros at Dusk, Oxford 2018) recently published, she is now turning to her next project: a study of the reception of Catullus by postmodern female artists and authors. She also recently assisted the growing chapter of Eta Sigma Phi in inducting new members and is looking forward to working with them to plan events and activities for the rest of the year.
Elise Friedland’s article, “The Sebaste Apollo: Form, Function and Local Meaning,” appeared in the volume Roman Artists, Patrons, and Public Consumption: Familiar Works Reconsidered, edited by Brenda Longfellow and Ellen Perry (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, pp. 117-141). She also delivered two public lectures on her new research on 19th century reception of Roman painting in the U.S. Capitol Building: On March 14, 2018, she spoke on “Pompeii on the Potomac: Constantino Brumidi’s Nineteenth-Century, Roman-Style Frescoes for the Naval Affairs Committee Room in the U.S. Capitol Building,” at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, Washington, D.C. On May 31, 2018, she delivered a talk, “Publishing Pompeii in Germany and Painting Pompeii on the Potomac: Library of Congress Sources for Brumidi’s Frescoes in US Capitol S-127,” for the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress.
Professor Friedland also gave a special tour (along with the curator of the Capitol) to the Board of Trustees of the Archaeological Institute of America of the 19th century, Pompeian-style fresco cycle in the Senate Appropriations Committee Meeting Room in the U.S. Capitol Building on April 26, 2018.
During summer 2018, Professor Friedland taught a five-day summer study tour course from July 8-13, 2018, for the Vergilian Society, "Greece and Rome in Washington, DC: Classical Influences on Our Founding Fathers," that was attended by three Latin teachers from around the United States, two University of Maryland Classics MA students and three members of the public. Toward the end of the summer, Professor Friedland spent two weeks in Jerusalem at the Israel Antiquities Authority assessing a new project she has been invited to undertake: the publication of the entire corpus of Roman sculptures discovered at the Roman and Byzantine site of Beth Shean/Scythopolis, the largest Roman archaeological site in Israel.
Andrew M. Smith II has been very active in research and development in Jordan. Between 2015 and 2018, Smith directed a USAID project through ACOR/SCHEP to map the various land routes between Bir Madhkur and Petra. The main thrust of the effort was to document the ancient Incense Road, to promote economic development in Wadi Araba, one of the most impoverished areas of Jordan, and to focus on sustainable cultural heritage development through engagement with the local community of Bir Madhkur.
To support these efforts to help the local community of Bir Madhkur, Smith maintains a partnership with a new Bedouin NGO cooperative at Bir Madhkur, with the Hashemite Fund for the Development the Jordan Badia and with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. The current directive is to develop a research facility at the site that will provide many opportunities for GW faculty and students to work in southern Jordan on various interrelated projects geared toward tourism development and sustainability (or in other areas). Meanwhile, Smith continues to give public lectures highlighting his research on the ancient site of Petra and its urban development between classical and late antiquity.
The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages & Literatures would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018.+ Faculty/Staff | # Parent | ~ Student | * Friend
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