Congratulations are in order for CIAMS student Amy Cromartie (Anthropology PhD), who recently received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship. This is an early graduate career fellowship to support her dissertation research on how humans modify their agriculture strategies in the face of climate variation in mountain regions. Amy’s research focuses on the Bronze and Iron Age communities living around Mount Aragats in Armenia. She is a team member of CIAMS’s Project ArAGATS. Kudos to Amy on her achievement!
CIAMS members have received a number of awards recently!
Gabby Borenstein, Anthropology PhD student, won a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant to support her dissertation research on “The Logics of Egalitarianism: Materiality and Meaning in the Kura-Araxes Horizon (3500-2400 BCE).” National Geographic Young Explorers Grants assist aspiring professionals working on global research, conservation, and exploration projects. Gabby excavates at the Bronze Age site of Gegharot in Armenia along with the CIAMS-run Project ArAGATS. Congratulations, Gabby!
Liana Brent, Classics PhD candidate, received the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize for Ancient Studies from the American Academy in Rome to support her dissertation research. Liana’s dissertation project is entitled “Corporeal Connections: Tomb Disturbance, Reuse, and Violation in Roman Italy.” The Rome Prize supports innovative, inter-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Congratulations, Liana!
Perri Gerard-Little, who recently defended her dissertation, entitled “‘A pleasure garden in the desert, to which I know no comparison in this country’: Seneca Iroquois Landscape Stewardship in the 17th and 18th Centuries” in the Anthropology PhD program, was awarded a Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants from the College of Arts & Sciences. Double congratulations to Perri for the award and a successful defense!
Kurt Jordan, CIAMS Director and Associate Professor of Anthropology, was named a Fellow of the New York State Archaeological Association at the recent annual meeting in Lake George. Fellows are honored for their “outstanding contribution to our knowledge of New York State Archaeology.” He is the 60th Fellow named in the 101 years of NYSAA’s existence. Congratulations, Kurt!
Kaja Tally-Schumacher, PhD candidate in History of Art, was named a Junior Fellow in Garden and Landscape Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection for Fall 2017. This appointment is in support of her dissertation “Cultivating Empire: Transplanting and Translating Rome.” Dumbarton Oaks supports research and learning in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies. Congratulations, Kaja!
UPDATED 5 May 2017 – We have even more awards to announce!
Sherene Baugher, CIAMS professor, received The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from SUNY. According to the SUNY website, “the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement.” Congratulations, Sherene!
Kathy Gleason, CIAMS Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Landscape Architecture, has begun her first of six years as a Senior Fellow in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. The Senior Fellows advise the Director of Dumbarton Oaks in research and collection development concerning garden and landscape studies. Congratulations, Kathy!
UPDATED 10 May 2017 – Yet even more awards!
Betty Hensellek, a PhD Candidate in the History of Art, received the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Art History Fellowship (website: http://www.
If you know of anyone omitted from this list of awards recipients, please contact the CIAMS AD.
CIAMS is fortunate to be able to provide a number of research and travel grants for our undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. For the 2016/2017 academic year CIAMS granted a total of $37,877 in Hirsch travel and CIAMS research grant awards. These grants facilitate travel and archaeological field experience as well as enabling graduate students to undertake self-directed archaeological research projects. As our program expands, we look forward to promoting even more projects that benefit the field of archaeology.
CIAMS faculty members Jeff Zorn (Near Eastern Studies) and Lauren Monroe (Near Eastern Studies) recently received funding from the Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences at Cornell University in order to digitize the architectural plans for the site of Tell en-Naṣbeh, located 12 km north of Jerusalem in the West Bank. Approximately two thirds of this three hectare, primarily Iron Age, site was excavated by a team from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, between 1926–1935 under the direction of W. F. Badé. Tell en-Naṣbeh is one of the most broadly excavated sites in the southern Levant, making it of great importance for those interested in studying house construction, settlement planning and social organization. The full set of plans has, until now, only been available to those able to travel to Berkeley. This digitization project will at last make these important plans available to students and scholars at Cornell and around the world.
Professor Astrid Van Oyen, who joins the faculty of CIAMS in the 2016-2017 academic year, has been awarded a Cotsen Excavation Grant by the Archaeological Institute of America for her field project at the site of Podere Marzuolo in southern Tuscany (Italy).
The Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP) is an international and interdisciplinary fieldwork project investigating the rural craft site of Podere Marzuolo. Professor Van Oyen’s collaborators on the project include Gijs Tol (University of Melbourne) and Rhodora Vennarucci (University of Arkansas).
Preliminary excavations at the site were undertaken in 2012-2013 under the aegis of the Roman Peasant Project. Over the next five years (2016-2021), MAP will investigate how knowledge was shuffled, how a community of practice was formed around ceramic production, and how innovation happened. MAP seeks to challenge the stereotypical view of a Roman countryside occupied by conservative, isolated, and economically underdeveloped farmers, and instead focuses on the changing practices of a crafting community that is highly diversified, well connected, and actively innovating.
Congratulations to Professor Van Oyen on her award and what promises to be an innovative and illuminating research project!
Photographs provided by Astrid Van Oyen.
Congratulations to Bill Mastandrea for winning the 2015/2016 CIAMS MA Thesis Prize! Bill’s thesis is entitled Cupellation at Kea: Investigating Potential Applications of the Minoan Conical Cup. Two of his advisors–Sturt Manning and Lori Khatchadourian–comment that Bill wrote a well-researched, well-written, and provocatively original thesis.
Bill was announced as the CIAMS MA Thesis Prize winner at the CIAMS graduation reception in May. The prize comes with a $250 cash award.
Bill plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in the upcoming year, and he is currently working to have his thesis published. A synopsis of Bill’s prize-winning thesis may be found below:
“An understanding of the coarseware Minoan conical or handleless cup, has long eluded Aegean archaeologists, despite the longevity of their production, use, and prevalence. This small, undecorated, coarseware vessel appears in great numbers at nearly all Minoan and Minoanizing sites throughout the Aegean, first appearing early in the Early Minoan Period (EM; 3100-2100/2050 BCE) on the island of Crete. By the early Late Minoan Period (LM; 1700/1675-1075/1050 BCE) the handleless cup had spread across the Aegean to Kea, Kythera, Melos, Thera, Mainland Greece, and portions of Western Anatolia in staggering numbers (Gillis 1990b, 1). This paper addresses how patterns in the distribution of handleless cups – within House A at Ayia Irini, Kea – and their association with other finds therein can inform the intended uses of and the social practices for which these ceramics were reserved and the degree to which these daily routines conformed to, or deviated from, social practices known from contemporary sites elsewhere in the Aegean. In pursuing the answer(s) to these questions I propose that, in addition to other possible of uses, the handleless cup at Ayia Irini was a vessel well-suited to use in the process of silver cupellation. This claim is supported by artifact distribution and density maps of the Period VI structure that reveal the spatial relationships between objects and features.”
With her tenure as Hirsch postdoctoral associate coming to a close, we at CIAMS would like to thank Uthara Suvrathan for her service to the department and wish her best of luck in her future endeavors.
Uthara came to Cornell in 2014 from the University of Michigan where she earned her PhD in Anthropology. Her research draws on both archaeological and textual material to examine the organization of polities and places on the margins of large socio-political systems and empires in South Asia.
While at CIAMS, Uthara has been an active member of our community, attending talks, teaching, and presenting her work in a number of fora. Her courses at Cornell–which include “Beyond Kings, Palaces, and Temples: Introduction to the Archaeology of South Asia,” “Fantastic Frauds and Myths in Archaeology,” and “Archaeology and Text”–have emphasized participatory activities for her students. Recently, her class re-created the Nazca lines on the Arts Quad to investigate how ancient peoples constructed them using basic tools and geometry.
An engaged member of the local archaeological community, Uthara has presented her research at a CIAMS workshop as well as at at a meeting of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA).
Uthara was named a Bard Graduate Center visiting fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. At the Bard Graduate Center, Uthara will be completing her book manuscript Persistent Peripheries: Archaeological and historical landscapes of an early city in South India, 3rd c. BCE–18th c. CE. Congratulations, Uthara, and best wishes for your bright future!
CIAMS professor Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art) recently published a new monograph, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes. The book is part of the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas series published by University of Texas Press.
Examining the vivid, often apocalyptic church murals of Peru from the early colonial period through the nineteenth century, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between explores the sociopolitical situation represented by the artists who generated these murals for rural parishes. Arguing that the murals were embedded in complex networks of trade, commerce, and the exchange of ideas between the Andes and Europe, Ananda Cohen Suarez also considers the ways in which artists and viewers worked through difficult questions of envisioning sacredness.
This study brings to light the fact that, unlike the murals of New Spain, the murals of the Andes possess few direct visual connections to a pre-Columbian painting tradition; the Incas’ preference for abstracted motifs created a problem for visually translating Catholic doctrine to indigenous congregations, as the Spaniards were unable to read Inca visual culture. Nevertheless, as Cohen Suarez demonstrates, colonial murals of the Andes can be seen as a reformulation of a long-standing artistic practice of adorning architectural spaces with images that command power and contemplation. Drawing on extensive secondary and archival sources, including account books from the churches, as well as on colonial Spanish texts, Cohen Suarez urges us to see the murals not merely as decoration or as tools of missionaries but as visual archives of the complex negotiations among empire, communities, and individuals.
Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between is now available for purchase on Amazon, though as of the time of writing, only one copy was left in stock! Congratulations to Prof. Cohen Suarez on her achievement!
CIAMS PhD student Eilis Monahan (Near Eastern Studies) was recently featured in a Student Spotlight by the Cornell University Graduate School, which lauded her recent NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and Fulbright Fellowship awards.
When asked what has influenced her thinking as a researcher and scholar, Eilis cited the positive role that CIAMS faculty have played in supporting her studies:
I’ve always been really struck by the way architecture and landscape affects people, and lately I’ve been influenced by the work of social theorists like Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre, inspiring me to think critically about how space was created in the past and how these spaces actively shape political trajectories in human society. I also have to credit my committee: Prof. Adam T. Smith in anthropology for introducing me to the literature on political theory and materiality; Prof. Sturt Manning in classics for his knowledge of all things related to Cyprus and scientific methods; and most of all, my advisor Prof. Lori Khatchadourian in Near Eastern studies. She has been tireless in her support of my work, and her knowledge and insight concerning ancient political and social organization and the relationship between materials and power is both an amazing resource and a constant source of inspiration. She really won’t accept anything less than my best, and I always come out of meetings with her full of new ideas and excited to get back to work.
Congratulations to Eilis on her accomplishments! The full interview may be found here.
The Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory recently hosted a workshop on dendrochronology for the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference held at Cornell on April 30th. EYH is a one-day, student-led conference for 7th-9th grade girls that is designed to stimulate participants’ interest in math and science through hands-on workshops, provide them with female scientist role models, and to foster awareness of opportunities in science-related careers. Over 200 girls from around New York State came to the EYH conference this year to participate in several workshops around campus, including the “Tree-Ring Time Detectives” workshop, which was led by Cornell Tree-Ring Lab researchers Brita Lorentzen, Carol Griggs, and Cindy Kocik, and undergraduates Amanda Gaggioli (Classics, ’16) and Meg Parker (Natural Resources, ’16).
The main, overarching goals of the workshop were for students to explore how scientific methods can be applied not only in traditional STEM fields, but also to enrich research in the humanities and social sciences, and to investigate records of human impact on the environment. As part of the dendrochronology workshop, participants learned how to use tree-rings to date wooden paintings and musical instruments, reconstruct climate and environment, and how dendrochronologists collect, record, and examine wood charcoal in the field by excavating their own mini archaeological site (nicknamed “Tel Tupperware”). The workshop leaders enjoyed sharing their research with an enthusiastic group of participants and introducing them to the wonderful world of tree-rings!