Ohio State nav bar

GISRAM News and Events

News and Events Spring 2024

Sunday, February 25, 3:00-5:00: this semester’s meeting of GISRAM, at the home of Tina Sessa.  We’ll discuss the ‘pollution and purification’ chapter of Fritz Graf’s forthcoming book, and Fritz will tell us about the challenges he faced in writing it.  All are welcome!  RSVP to Sarah Iles Johnston.

Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23: conference on Narrative and Belief, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme “Public Narrative Collaborative” and organized by Carman Roman and Caroline Toy.  More information here.


News and Events Autumn 2023

Monday, September 18 at 4:00 in Hagerty Hall 198, Dr. Albert Harrill will present “The Devil Recast as Fortune in Early Christian Ethics.”  For more information, check here.

Tuesday, September 19 at 6:00: AIA lecture. Shannon Dunn (Bryn Mawr) “Poseidon in the Saronic Gulf: Seascapes and Regional Cult in a Maritime Community".  More info here.

Wednesday, September 27 from 4:00 to 6:00:  Katie Rask's new book, Personal Experience and Materiality in Greek Religion (Routledge 2023), will be the subject of a colloquium sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion.  Michael Anthony Flower of East Tennessee State University and I will each review the book; a general discussion will follow and then a reception.

Sunday, November 12, 3:00 to 5:00 at the home of Sarah Iles Johnston and Fritz Graf: This semester's GISRAM meeting.  Stay tuned for the topic!

Tuesday-Thursday, November 14-16: A visit from Ra'anan Boustan, research scholar in Judaic Studies at Princeton.   There will be some informal events and on the 16th, a lecture about the Huqoq mosaics.  More information, when available, will be here.  

Friday-Sunday, December 1-3: annual meeting of the Midwestern Consortium on Ancient Religions.  Topic: Religion and Labor.  More information here.

Autumn 2022

Michael Biggerstaff successfully defended his dissertation, "De-Marginalizing Prophetic Suprahuman Knowledge" in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (under the direction of Sam Meier). At the moment, Michael is teaching as an adjunct at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. Congratulations, Michael!

Katie Caliva (PhD Classics 2018) is back in our general neighborhood this year, on a VAP at Kenyon College, and will be attending GISRAM events. Welcome back, Katie!

Attila Egyed is visiting us this semester as a Fulbright student from the Department of Religious Studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. While here, he will continue his work on the Bacchic/Orphic Gold tablets. His most recent publication on the topic appeared in the last issue of Archiv für Religionsgeschichte; an abstract is here. Welcome, Attila!

And welcome to our four new faculty members in the Department of Classics: Harriet Fertik, Gaia Gianni, Christopher Parmenter, and Alan Ross. We are very pleased to have you with us.

GISRAM Events Spring 2023

This semester’s meeting of GISRAM will take place on Sunday, February 5, from 3:00 to 5:00, at the home of Sarah Iles Johnston and Fritz Graf (email sarahilesjohnston@gmail.com if you need the address). We’ll be discussing a paper by Bert Harrill called: ‘To Purify One’s Life by the Exact Science of Mathematical Calculations: Astrology as Ascetic Labor in the Anthologiae of Vettius Valens’, which we’ll read in advance. The discussion will start at 3:30 but come early to have some food and drink beforehand.

On April 21, there will be a colloquium in honor of Fritz Graf on the occasion of his retirement (which took place September 1, 2022). The topic is ‘New Directions in the Study of Ancient Greek Religion,’ and will include speakers Michael Beshay, Jan Bremmer, Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic, and Katie Rask. More information will follow soon.

Autumn 2019

Semi-annual meeting of GISRAM, Sunday, September 22 3:00-5:00 at the home of Sarah Iles Johnston and Fritz Graf.  Topic: discussion of article ‘Familiarity and Phenomenology’ by guest-of-honor Katie Rask.

The annual Davis Lecture in Christianity (Department of Comparative Studies) Thursday, September 26 at 4:30 in Thompson Library.  Speaker: Angie Heo, ‘Copts and Christian-Muslim Mediation: The Social Life of Theology in Egypt’  More info at:  https://comparativestudies.osu.edu/events/annual-davis-lecture-christianity-presents-copts-and-christian-muslim-mediation-social-life

Friday, October 11, 7 p.m.: lecture and performance by scholar of Renaissance magic and practicing stage magician Josh Jay, sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  Title: ‘Rediscovering Discoverie: Making Magic’s Oldest Ideas New Again,’  Ohio Union, US Bank Conference Theater.

Friday, November 15, 4:00 p.m: Annual Francis Utley Lecture, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Folklore and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, by Lea T. Olsan.  Title: ‘Charms: Religion, Medicine, Magic and Foklore.’

Spring 2020

Thursday, February 20: Colloquium on the pedagogy of magic, focused on Radcliffe Edmond’s new book Drawing Down the Moon.  Outside speakers: Radcliffe Edmonds, David Frankfurter.  OSU speakers will include Sarah Iles Johnston, Hugh Urban and Michael Swartz.  Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion. More info TBA

Tuesday, March 3: Colloquium on The Story of Myth by Sarah Iles Johnston, with outside speaker Markus Altena Davidsen.   Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion. More info TBA

Wednesday, April 8: Annual Schlam Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Classics.  Speaker: Esther Eidinow.  More info TBA

Thursday, April 9: Colloquium on Narrating Belief, sponsored by the Public Narrative Collaborative Discovery Theme.  Outside Speakers: Esther Eidinow and Laura Feldt.  OSU speakers and more info coming soon!  Organizers: Carman Romano (.93) and Caroline Toy (.36)

[pdf]- Some links on this page are to .pdf files.  If you need these files in a more accessible format, please email classics@osu.edu.


The Spring 2019 meeting of GISRAM will be on Sunday, January 27 at 3:30 at the home of Professors David Brakke and Bert Harrill. Please RSVP to Professor Brakke (Brakke.2@osu.edu) by January 18. We will discuss Colleen Kron’s work on an infant burial found in the same place as the two Bacchic tablets from Pelinna. If you wish acopy of the paper in advance, please contact Sarah Iles Johnston at johnston.2@osu.edu.

Assistant professor Lisa Mignone of Brown University will deliver a lecture on Roman religion on the afternoon of April 1, 2019. For more information, check back on the Classics Events page.

The Emmert Colloquium on the teaching of myth will be held April 12-13, 2019. For further information, check back here.


Graduate student Marcus Ziemann with his dog


Marcus Ziemann has won this year's Iles Award for the Study of Myth from the Center for the Study of Religion.  The Award will fund Marcus' work on the connection between Assyrian literature and the Iliad, and in particular will enable him to travel and meet with Assyriologists.  Congratulatons, Marcus!

Michael Biggerstaff presented a paper at the Midwest Society of Biblical Literature conference in South Bend, Indiana on  February 3, 2018 entitled "Prophetic Uncertainty as a Source of Religious Diversity in the Hebrew Bible."

Katie Caliva  attended the Spring School on the Material Dimension of Religion at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where she presented a paper entitled "Pythian 8: Prayers in a Material Context". Katie received funding from both the Graf Fund and the ASC Small Research Grants program to support her travel to the Spring School.

Colleen Kron has presented, or is about to present, several papers:
    “Myth on the Wall: Perceptions of Antiquity in Contemporary Street Art,” Celtic Conference in Classics "Democratizing Classics" Panel, University of St. Andrews, July 11-14, 2018.
    “Children at the Mysteries? The Gold Tablets from Pelinna in Context,” at the International Spring School “The Material Dimension of Religions,” Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, March 5-9, 2018.
    “Prometheus Bound in a Sicilian Performance Context,” on the "Committee on Ancient & Modern Performance" panel 149th Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies, January 6, 2018, Boston, MA.

Carman Romano received a grant from the Virginia Brown Fund to travel to Italy to study a manuscript of a humanist commentary on Plautus.

[pdf]- Some links on this page are to .pdf files.  If you need these files in a more accessible format, please email classics@osu.edu.