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The question of how we understand the art of the Roman provinces urgently requires reexamination in light of new thinking about colonialism and imperialism, set within the framework of an increasingly global world. At the same time that Anglophone art historians and archaeologists are querying whether we still can use the early 20th century concept of “romanization” — the processes by which cultures were brought in contact and materially changed by the Roman imperial presence — innovative art historical and archaeological techniques, theories, and analytic strategies permit us to explore the art of the provinces with fresh excitement and sometimes unexpected results.
This seminar, organized by Brown University and sponsored by the Getty Foundation, was designed to bring together a diverse international group of historians, art historians, museum professionals, and archaeologists interested in both theoretical issues of “romanization” and the particular manifestations of material culture in the various provinces. Our intention is to promote and provoke a broad conversation about the future of this developing field.
Two intensive two-week sessions were held: one in Great Britain (May 2011) and one in Greece (May 2012). The seminar was led by Professor Emerita Natalie Boymel Kampen (Columbia University) and Professor Susan E. Alcock (Brown University), in conjunction with a team of distinguished international scholars. The seminar will conclude with a meeting at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, in early August 2013.