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ARAH/ARH 9510 The Visible Past

Lisa Reilly

The antique past is a familiar point of reference for many artists and architects across time and place. Throughout western Europe and around the Mediterranean, the Roman past has been visible through archaeological remains, drawings, prints and texts although the use of the antique past in later art and architecture is often discussed exclusively with regard to what remains in Rome itself. Some, such as Hadrian’s Wall, has remained visible throughout time, while others such as Vindolanda have only been uncovered in the past century while still others, such as the Temple of Claudius provde the foundations for Colchester Castle. Stonework from over 20 individual monuments was embedded in Hexham Abbey and the Venerable Bede provides accounts of Roman remains in his 8th century History of the English People. This course will explore what was visible when throughout the region through a study of textual and visual evidence from the past with the aim of considering how more localized antique remains and their presentation may have influenced art and architectural production. Assigned readings will focus on the antique in England, with a particular interest in the medieval period but students will be free to develop research projects on any time period or place in relation to the classical past. This seminar is being offered in conjunction with a new digital humanities project which seeks to map information concerning the evidence for the antique past across time and place in Great Britain. The seminar will feature discussion of how to develop a digital humanities project using Design Thinking methodologies.


Class meetings will center on the discussion of related texts, websites, digital projects, short lectures and student presentations. Each student will be asked to give one major presentation (30 minutes) on a topic developed in conjunction with the instructor and develpp a digital project on the same topic using arcgis and Storymap. Several short assignments will also be given throughout the semester. .

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