Contemporary Greek Film Cultures Conference 2013

Reading’s Department of Classics and our Centre for Hellenic Studies are delighted to sponsor the Interdisciplinary, International Conference on Contemporary Greek Cinema, 5-6 of July 2013, at the Hellenic Centre, London.

Details of the conference programme and further information can be found here:

Online registration closes on the 4th July.

Dr Sonya Nevin on Classics Confidential

New on Classics Confidential:

In the fifth interview recorded at the Classical Association meeting and the second shot on location in the Ure Museum CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks to Dr Sonya Nevin about the project to create animations based on the characters and stories depicted on ancient Greek vases. This was also the subject of her presentation at the conference on the Classics and Museums (1) panel.

Sonya helped to create these animations as the Classics consultant working in collaboration with Steve K. Simons, who specialises in the digital restoration and animation of ancient Greek vase images. For more information about their on-going work see:

The first animation they produced based on Exekias’ vase depicting Achilles and Ajax playing a game of dice was entitled the Clash of the Dicers

It was produced as part of the Ure-View project, an outreach initiative that brought together Classics students and young people from two Reading secondary schools, Kendrick and Maiden Erlegh. The two groups were asked to work collaboratively to produce story boards based on what they saw depicted on ancient vases housed in the Ure Museum.

These animations also featured on the Stories of the World programme presented as part of Arts in Parliament series at Westminster Hall (24 July 2012). The animations help to draw attention to the importance of athletics in the classical world but they can also be used as a teaching resource.  An exhibition of a new set of animations from the recent Ure Discovery project, will be launched on 17th June 2013 at the Ure Museum.  The animations, with insights into their backstories, will be appearing on the Panoply website from that date.

Another animation The Cheat was created specifically for The Open University’s module The Ancient Olympics: Bridging Past and Presentwhich also drew attention to the links between the ancient Olympic games and their modern reincarnation.

As Sonya points out what all these animations have in common is that help to focus the viewer’s attention on the ancient artefacts. They utilise the new technologies available to us, but the stars of the show are the ancient vases themselves.

Click on the image below or follow this link to watch the interview!

Greeks & Egyptians-themed Day School

Thirty keen adult learners joined members of the Department of Classics for a Day School, planned in collaboration with the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, for a presentation of their research on the topic of Greeks & Egyptians, on 18 May 2013.

During the day 30+ participants learned about the interactions of ancient Greeks & Egyptians in Egypt, from members of the department and two of the Department’s recent PhD recipients.

Participants were also given the opportunity to view the Ure Museum collections, some relevant artefacts in which were discussed by Dr. Smith (Curator) and Prof. Rutherford (on the topic of mummified cats).

Participants gave enthusiastic feedback and called it ‘… a most enjoyable and stimulating study day…’, commenting that ‘the range of topics and their enthusiastic presentation were excellent’.

Collections-based Research in Classics at Reading

In its efforts to bring present and future students’ attention to the wide range of research facilities available at the University of Reading the Research Review has highlighted Dr Amy Smith and her research in the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology:

In this audio Dr Smith introduces the Ure Museum and explains how the collection and its database are used by students and scholars, including the complications inherent in studying 3d objects and relevant conservation issues.

This is the second ‘unusual space people use for their research’ highlighted in a series that started with the ‘Gut lab’ (Nutritional Sciences).

Contemporary Greek Film Cultures 2013 Conference

The Department of Classics and our Centre for Hellenic Studies is proud to support a two-day conference on contemporary Greek cinema to be held at the Hellenic Centre in London in July:

Contemporary Greek Film Cultures 2013: International Conference
5-6 July, The Hellenic Centre
, London

At a time when news surrounding Greece has almost exclusively been about the financial crisis, it is imperative to redress the balance by examining the productive forces of culture in the country, maintaining that Greece is something more than a country in debt. Contemporary Greek Film Cultures 2013 is an international conference for the study of Contemporary Greek Film, co-organised by the Universities of Reading and Glasgow. This 2-day conference seeks to actively help expand the current scholarship in Greek Film Studies, and help promote a more concerted study and theorisation of Contemporary Greek Cinema, reflecting on the multi-faceted contexts of its production, distribution and research, in Greece and abroad.

Register online at:

New Online Publication on the Greeks in Bactria and India

The online Hellenistic Far East Bibliography, maintained by Dr. Rachel Mairs, has just been updated ( ).  The Hellenistic Far East Bibliography project originated in the 2011 print publication The Archaeology of the Hellenistic Far East: A Survey: Bactria, Central Asia and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands c. 300 BC – AD 100 (Oxford: BAR).  It aims to collate and review publications on the archaeology and epigraphy of the Hellenistic-period Greek settlements of Central Asia and India.  Supplement 1, now available online, covers new publications 2010-2013.  Supplement 2 (forthcoming) will review several recently-published corpora of Greek inscriptions from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Celebrate Like It’s 776 BCE: The Ancient Greek Olympics and Other Festivals

On Saturday April 28th the Department of Classics was delighted to host 40 members of the general public who attended a free Study Day on the Olympics and other festivals. We offered a programme of six talks on different aspects of ancient festivals, with plenty of time for questions. The audience, which ranged from school students to retired members of the University, and visitors from Italy, were very engaged with the topics. Their responses to the day overall praised the range and depth of the talks; everyone reported that they were entertained, informed, and stimulated. Guests also took the opportunity to visit the Ure and enjoy its outstanding collections.

The Departments thanks are due to the presenters, to Alice Le Page for help with publicity, to Nina Aitken for help with catering and signage, and to Philip Smither for help in the Ure Museum.

The programme was as follows:

  • Professor Ian Rutherford, How They Organised the Ancient Olympics
  • Dr Amy Smith, Nike: Victory at the Olympics and on Athenian Vases
  • Dr Emma Aston, Knocking on Hellas’ door: Thessaly, Macedon and pan-Hellenic participation
  • Dr Matthew Nicholls, Bread and Circuses
  • Dr Susanne Turner, In Cold Blood: Dead Athletes in Classical Athens
  • Professor Barbara Goff, The imaginary Greece of Baron Pierre de Coubertin

Legacy of Greek Political Thought Network Holds Workshop at Reading

The Legacy of Greek Political Thought Network held an international research workshop at the University of Reading, 2-3 December 2011.

The Network is open to anyone whose research includes the many ways in which the political thought of ancient Greece has been represented, deployed, challenged or creatively transformed in subsequent cultures.  For this workshop, generously funded by the British Academy, the rubric was to investigate lesser-known such transformations.  Accordingly we investigated such diverse objects as Lutheran pacifists, German film-makers, democratic or anti-democratic theorists of various periods, and the military career of Socrates.  Each panel generated substantial discussion and we were thus very grateful to the Departments of Classics, Politics and History, who provided frequent tea-breaks.

The workshop concluded with plans to meet again in Bristol next year, and to undertake a special issue of the Classical Receptions Journal.  The Network would like to thank all the speakers, delegates, funding bodies, and office staff involved.