Postgraduate Workshop: Roman Space and Urbanism, 11 Nov. 2015

I will be presenting on my current chapter this Wednesday, 11 Nov. 2015, at a Postgraduate Workshop at University of Kent. The workshop highlights some of the current work on Roman space and urbanism in the Classical and Archaeological Studies department by PhD students. The workshop is a part of a visit by Kent Institute of Advance Studies in Humanities Visiting Fellow Eric Poehler (UMass), who will give a keynote lecture. Details can be found here.

My presentation will introduce my approach to acoustics from archaeological remains/materials and its implications for understanding noises through Lefebvre’s ‘rhythmanalysis’. I use Lefebvre’s rhytmanalysis to bring together the multiplicity of sources for sounds and noises to think about everyday rhythms and life in Ostia.

I focus on the space of streets, although I draw examples from the Baths of Neptune and Portico di Pio IX at Ostia. The title, Inde caput morbi, is taken from Juvenal’s Satire 3, which I use to bounce some of the physics of sound findings off Roman writings on streets. It should be a fun afternoon and I’m excited to hear some of my fellow Kent PhDs presenting their work.

Sensory Studies in Classical & Archaeological Studies, University of Kent

Last Thursday I went down to University of Kent to hear my department discuss their finishing/upcoming research projects (see the schedule posted bellow). It was a great chance to hear what the faculty in the department are researching, as I am in London most of the time. It was also a reaffirmation my choice to study at Kent and my own research projects place in the wider community of the department.

In particular, two faculty members, neither of which are affiliated with my PhD, discussed sensory experience projects that overlapped with my own interests. First, Patty Baker discussed her upcoming project looking at the role of gardens in the health and well being of Romans. Following her work on ancient medicine, Patty will look at the physical make of gardens, such as plants, decorations, layout and features, to assess the health benefits of the spaces. There are clear parallels with my interests in acoustics and sounds, particularly the way the architecture of gardens could conjure certain emotions or feelings. Second, Keli Rudolph shared her research on the values of the senses. Growing out of her work on ancient philosophy and theories of perception, Keli discussed the need to better understand the ancient philosophical context for Aristotle’s hierarchy of the senses. Aristotle is often referenced in terms of his hierarchy with only passing comment on the context of the discussion. The overemphasis on the hierarchy as a negation of the importance of the senses does not adequately deal with the context of the passage.

Again, it was a great day of sharing exciting research going on at Kent and I am glad to be apart of such an department.

CLAS Research Day Schedule