Any regular readers will have noticed that I’ve been largely absent from my blog for the last two months or so. That’s not because amazing things haven’t been happening in the world of archaeology (see my Twitter sidebar at right for links to stories on vampires excavated in Bulgaria, Egyptian animal mummies, and the discovery of one of Caesar’s battlefields in Belgium, for example), but because I’ve been busy prepping for two major events:
First, I am thrilled to announce that in August, I will be joining the faculty of the Visual Arts department of Anderson University (in Anderson, South Carolina) as Assistant Professor of Art History (http://www.auvisualarts.com/faculty.html). I’m looking forward to being back “home” in the South, and to the opportunity to work with fantastic students who are producing impressive work. I’ll be teaching everything from prehistoric art to contemporary art, so it will also give me a chance to spend time with some of my passions that lie outside the ancient world, such as medieval and Renaissance painting and architecture. In the past few weeks of prepping class lectures, I’ve also rediscovered my love of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, with which I have not had the opportunity to spend much time since my days as an MA student at Tulane. This is where my preparation for my new courses dovetails wonderfully with my other major upcoming event…
I will be leaving tomorrow to spend a month as an onboard lecturer on the ship Aegean Odyssey for the cruise line Voyages to Antiquity. This will be my fourth cruise with the line, and I cannot say enough about what a fantastic experience their voyages are. I will be speaking on ancient and medieval topics such as the veneration, sale, and theft of holy relics in the Middle Ages; the representation of the human form in ancient Mediterranean art from 22,000 BC to the 4th century AD; and the sensory experience of living in a Greek or Roman city. I will also be accompanying the passengers on tours of archaeological sites such as Pompeii, Olympia, and the palace of the emperor Diocletian at Split (Croatia). As much as I enjoy sharing my love of history and archaeology with an audience, I am also very much looking forward to benefitting from the expertise of the other lecturers who will be on board, such as Dr. Francis Broun. Dr. Broun is a specialist in Renaissance art, and he will be prepping us for our stops in Florence, Rome and Venice with lectures on Michelangelo, Bernini and Titian. I am also especially looking forward to visits to Arles and Marseilles, where Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne produced some of their best work, pilgrimages that I am hoping will provide me with even more inspiration for my Modern Art course in the fall.
As you can see, my next month will be a mix of old and new, ancient and modern, and all in the company of like-minded travelers and a cruise staff that makes Voyages to Antiquity cruises truly trips of a lifetime. If it sounds like I’m advertising for the company, I am! For those interested in history and culture, I very highly recommend that you consider sailing with VTA: http://us.voyagestoantiquity.com/. Maybe you’ll see me on board!
As time and internet connection permit, I’ll try to update this blog with progress and pictures. We board in Cannes on Saturday!