Plan II Study Abroad Program in Rome Course Descriptions
TC 357 - Ancient Rome and Her Many Cultures
- Professor Karl Galinsky, Cailloux Centennial Professor of Classics, University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Galinsky has directed numerous study abroad projects, including in Rome where he has spent more than five and a half years.
One of the prevailing stereotypes about ancient Rome is that
it was a largely homogeneous culture and that the “Romanization” of
the ancient Mediterranean connotes similar sameness. In fact, Rome, like
the US—and we’ll pursue some of these analogies—from its
very beginnings was a hybrid of different ethnicities, cultures, and religions.
The dynamic openness of Roman civilization to such influences and to creative
adaptation were major reasons why Rome lasted so long and had such an impact
on western civilization. A related issue on which we will focus is national
identity and its constant evolution; similarly, Romanization was an ongoing,
rather than finite, process.
The seminar will explore these issues through background readings and visits to many of the material remains in the city of Rome and its environs. Major topics will be the impact of the Etruscans on early Rome; Rome’s adaptation of Greek culture in literature, art, and architecture and the related issue of Roman originality; the presence of foreigners and foreign cults in the city; the Greco-Roman basis of early Christianity; and the issue of e pluribus unum—how to establish some sense of community amid all this variety. The aim of the seminar is not exhaust any of these subjects but to provide a deeper insight into some of the essential characteristics of Rome and her legacy.
HUM 350 – Preserving a World City
Darius Arya holds a PhD in Classical Archeology from UT Austin and serves as Executive Director of the AIRC.
Alberto Prieto holds a PhD in Classical Archeology from UT Austin.
The course will involve a close-up study of the conservation and preservation
of Rome through an examination of cultural heritage sites and their architectural
history. Rome is a city that belongs to the entire world due to its unparalleled
richness, preserved in layers throughout, and
under, the city. It is the ideal urban center in which to examine the impact that the material cultural has had and continues to exert on Romans and international visitors to the city. Students will be exposed on ongoing archaeological excavations, new museum arrangements, and new
architectural spaces created in Rome in the past few decades. Digs and archaeological sites include AIRC excavations and conservation projects, Villa delle Vignacce and the Santa Maria Antiqua restoration project. Museum collections are considered in a new light through
contemporary displays, arrangements, and structures. We will examine the Capitoline Museums and Palazzo Altemps as two case studies. New architectural spaces, made in the past two decades, confront much older projects from Rome’s past, dating between the seventh century BC to the Fascist era. The contemporary architectural projects include the Ara Pacis museum (R. Meier), Mausoleum of Augustus (restoration project and new piazza space), Rome’s new Auditorium (R. Piano), and the museum of contemporary art: MAXXI (Z. Hadid).