Attending this event?
To view sessions, please select the Grid view below or use the Session Title filter.

After registering for the conference, you can log in here to save sessions to your personalized itinerary, sign up for workshops and performances with limited capacity, edit your profile, and edit your session description. For help using Sched, please see support.

For full details about the conference, please visit hastac2023.org
Back To Schedule
Thursday, June 8 • 3:30pm - 3:50pm
Remaking Classics: The Seven Wonders Project

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Classical studies, traditionally the study of Ancient Greece and Rome, is at an impasse. Built on centuries of Eurocentrism and elitism, the field is now confronting appropriations by white supremacists that proclaim the superiority of “white heritage” and “western civilization” (McCoskey 2018, Dozier 2022).

This paper present my own contribution to a more just classics: a born-digital Scalar book called The Seven Wonders Project that mixes fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarship to explore how modern and contemporary artists from marginalized standpoints, especially women and non-binary people of color, are reimagining ancient monuments. Particopants will be able to engage the project via url during the presentation.

Seven Wonders amplifies the work of these artists by inscribing them in a canon of wonders, a riff on the seven wonders of the ancient world. Although primarily selected by Greek writers, ancient lists of wonders disrupt the idea of Greece and Rome as the heart of cultural value by spanning a broader ancient Mediterranean that includes Africa, the Middle East, and culturally hybrid Greek city-states.

The project invites readers to put the canonical seven wonders, as well as other ancient monuments, in dialogue with modern and contemporary artworks that are themselves monumental or engaged with ancient monumentality. For example, a section on Kara Walker’s 2014 A Subtlety explores the Great Sphinx at Giza and the history of pyramids in Africa by way of Walker’s giant, Sphinx-like sculpture. The dialogue between past and present is enacted by the reader’s non-linear, hyperlinked navigation of the project and the connections they make between the many works it contains. This navigation is itself a form of critical co-making in which reader and author become mutually responsible for materializing the past in the present.

Yet information about ancient and modern monuments is not on the surface of the text. Instead, scholarly notes and citations are embedded in a series of letters between two semi-fictional characters. The interplay between letters and embedded annotations probes the nature of authority: what does the personal, embodied experience of art offer academics, and vice versa? Can scholarship co-exist with the knowledge-making practices of those historically excluded from the academy?

Taking inspiration from community art projects like Zena Kamash’s Crafting Heritage, the project also includes instructions for readers to make their own art. One section discusses Hive, Nancy Davidson and Lakshmi Ramgopal’s 2020 collaborative reimagining of the Artemis at Ephesus, a statue of the goddess Artemis adorned with rows of breast-like objects. This section ends with an activity called “Make a Votive Breast” in which readers are instructed to print, assemble, and manipulate a lacing card in the shape of a breast.

Yet the digital environment also poses some drawbacks. While I can include prompts and instructions for readers to engage with text and image, I can’t provide materials or ensure hands-on exploration. I would like to combat passivity in the digital environment and I look forward to feedback from the HASTAC community about how to do so.
Dozier, Curtis. 2017-2022. Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics. https://pages.vassar.edu/pharos/
McCoskey, Denise. 2018. “Black Athena, White Power.” Eidolon https://eidolon.pub/black-athena-white-power-6bd1899a46f2


Clara Bosak-Schroeder

Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Thursday June 8, 2023 3:30pm - 3:50pm EDT
ARC E-13