Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Department ofClassics and Ancient
Mediterranean Studies

News and Events

News and Events


October 9, 2023
11:15 am
Weaver 102 or on Zoom
One of the major scholarly revolutions in the study of ancient Judaism is the rejection of outdated binaries that stratified Jews into the scholastic elite and the superstitious masses, dividing between rabbis and sorcerers. Instead, recent work offers a more complex portrait, where diverse social actors engaged in contests over the most effective and legitimate forms of prophylactics, as well as those individuals authorized to perform them. This talk engages these questions through three vignettes: a rabbinic tale featuring a Satanic encounter, the continued discovery of the invocation of rabbis and rabbinic formulae on Aramaic incantation bowls, and the enigmatic usage of “pseudo-script” on roughly a quarter of the incantation bowl corpus. 
We are thrilled to introduce this year’s CAMS lecture series. Lectures will be held in a hybrid format in the Weaver Building and online via Zoom. Stay tuned for more information, including Zoom links, for each lecture. For now, save the dates and times contained in this post!
The CAMS Department welcomed all who study the ancient world to the new semester on Aug. 25. Check out the photos!
John earned his bachelor’s degree in CAMS in 2004 followed by certificates in intensive Latin and classical language from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. He later earned a master’s degree in forensic archaeological material analytics from the United Kingdom’s Sheffield University and a juris doctorate from Drexel University, whose magazine named him to its “40 under 40” list of impressive alumni. Today, John is the director of legal and commercial for New Jersey Wind Port and Infrastructure at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The New Jersey Wind Port project is the nation’s first purpose-built offshore wind marshaling and manufacturing port. Prior to that role, John served as a New Jersey deputy attorney general supporting the state’s climate resiliency efforts, safe drinking water and groundwater policies, and archaeological and historic site preservation. John is also an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University, where he teaches master’s courses on nonprofit governance and environmental law and policy. He is a member of the Ellis Island Advisory Commission.
Katherine Burlingame graduated in 2011 with bachelor’s degrees in CAMS and History. A member of the first cohort of Paterno Fellows, she studied abroad in Egypt and in Athens, Greece. In 2014, Katherine completed a master’s degree in World Heritage Studies at Brandenburg Technical University in Germany, and in 2020, she earned her doctorate in Human Geography at Lund University in Sweden. Her dissertation, “Dead landscapes—and how to make them live,” was awarded an outstanding thesis prize. Today, Katherine is a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher on “Relics of Nature,” a project funded by the Norwegian Research Council at the University of Oslo. With a focus on landscapes in the High North, the project investigates the intersections between natural and cultural heritage in a changing climate. Katherine is an active member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the Association for Critical Heritage Studies, and she serves on the International Editorial Advisory Board for the journal Landscape Research. Her parents Susan and Philip Burlingame accepted the award from Dean Clarence Lang on her behalf.
April 7, 2023
4:00 pm
102 Weaver and on Zoom
Abstract: What are some of the challenges and rewards of interpreting Phoenician art and iconography in the context of cultural contact? Through two concrete case studies, this talk will illustrate the difficulties in teasing out Phoenician art from the “Orientalizing” adaptations of it made by local groups. We will also appreciate the resilience of symbolic meanings and modes of cultural contact captured in artistic expression. [The lecture will be held in person in 102 Weaver. Those who want to attend on Zoom MUST register here:]


April 16, 2021
– April 18, 2021
This workshop, jointly organized by Anna Peterson (Penn State) and Janet Downie (UNC), will explore the relationship between lived space, society, and power and its depiction in Greek literature of the first three centuries C.E.
March 19, 2021
– March 21, 2021
This workshop reflects an on-going shift in the discipline of Classics, which has been focusing increasingly on the reception of ancient materials among Black, Indigenous, or Other People of Color.