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Martin Devecka: "Some Ends of the City: Ruins and Utopia in the Ancient World"
January 24, 2014 @ 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm | Stevenson Fireside Lounge
The Literature Department invites you to attend a talk held in conjunction with the search for a position in Mediterranean Studies: Ancient Comparative
Why do ruins happen? Are they caused by natural catastrophes, invasions, economic collapse, state failure, or by something else? This talk will address these questions from a new perspective, integrating sociological comparison of ancient societies including Arabia, Athens, and Rome with analysis of ancient writings about ruins to suggest that literary fantasies about post-urban life may play as important a part in bringing about the destruction of cities as any of the causes conventionally invoked by historians.
Martin Devecka is a Mellon Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. in Classics and Comparative Literature in 2012. He has taught there and at Brown University on subjects ranging from Latin political thought to Greco-Roman zoology. His research interests include animals, the history of technology, and the cultures of the Red Sea.