This term OLCAP is organising a short series of lunchtime seminars this semester organised loosely around the themes of heritage and the ancient world. The series got underway on Monday 1st November when Nigel Pollard (Swansea) spoke about his Leverhulme project and delivered the paper ‘Soldiers in ‘A Country Rich in Monuments’, Italy 1943-45’ . This presentation did not disappoint! During the session Nigel outlined the rationale of the project (to explore how and why Allied armed forces were encouraged and supported by military authorities to visit ancient heritage sites, and to investigate how factors such as nationality, ethnicity, education, class and gender affected their perceptions of the places they visited), the impact of COVID-19 on his research, and his findings to date. Accounts of soldiers’ visits included a short description by one who was underwhelmed by ‘doing Pompeii’, an account by Spike Milligan who captured the spirit in which many visited the site (he had prepared by consulting a range of texts and visual materials and the town made a lasting impression on him), as well as anecdotes deriding those whose tours were led by guides. Discuss of the vivid materials (diary entries and memoirs, souvenir guides, and video footage) prompted lively discussion about the engagement of local communities and visitors to heritage sites, the viewing preferences of different groups, perceptions of local communities and cultural heritage sites, the education of those whose testimonies survive, the damage done to and protection of cultural property. We look forward to hearing more about the development of this project!
Details for the other papers in the series are as follows:
24th November 1pm-2pm: Nora Shalaby (Abydos Temple Archives Project, HU, Berlin) will describe a ground-breaking project examining non-Western contributions to Egyptian archaeology.
29th November 1pm-2pm: Alice Stevenson and Heba Abd el Gawad (Dispersed Heritage Project, UCL) will introduce their project examining contemporary Egyptian attitudes and responses to the dispersal of cultural heritage to foreign museums during the colonial era.
Two OLCAP-sponsored papers also feature in the department’s seminar series Facing Power:
15th November 5pm: Beatrice Pestarino (University of Haifa) ‘Power elites and secret police in the classical Cypriot city-kingdoms’.
6th December 5pm: Erica Angliker (Institute of Classical Studies, London University) ‘Power, Religion and Natural Resources: Insights on the Cult of Apollo Delios on the Cyclades’.
The zoom link for these two papers is: https://swanseauniversity.zoom.us/j/97089154536?pwd=UjkrYnZBTjBFaDdqZFhrdkZlUDJkdz09
Meeting ID: 970 8915 4536 Passcode: 093854
The full schedule for this international series and details about how to join the mailing list can be found on the blogpost Swansea Ancient World Seminars 2021-22: Facing Power.