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Timecraft: From Interpreting the Past to Shaping the Future

February 9, 2024 Daniel D'Elia

From Nov. 10-11, Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art (GGACHA) sponsored its 14th biennial symposium titled Timecraft: From Interpreting the Past to Shaping the Future. Organized by graduate students Katie Breyer, Mallory Fitzpatrick, Kari Fossum, Devin Lawson, Yusi Liu, Meriç Özölçer, Katy Rosenthal, and Alexis White, the symposium consisted of a series of panels featuring graduate students from a variety of universities across Canada, Greece, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These graduate students presented on topics intersecting anthropology, archaeology, art history, and classics over the course of the weekend. Dr. Sarah Symons of McMaster University delivered the keynote lecture “The Birth of the Hours: Short Time Measurement in Ancient Egypt.” Under the guidance of Dr. Carrie Robbins, curator and academic liaison for art and artifacts in Special Collections, Mallory Fitzpatrick and Alexis White also co-curated an exhibition to complement the symposium, which will remain on view in Carpenter Library until May 2024.

Planned and executed solely by graduate students, the goal of GGACHA’s biennial symposiums is to foster interdisciplinary education between archaeology, classics, and History of Art while expanding beyond these disciplines to develop new points of connection among scholars grappling with similar questions. In the case of this symposium, these questions related to time and the way in which materials and ideas have been used to describe, understand, and delineate time, in both the past and the present, while pushing the audience to consider how our current ways of categorizing and encapsulating time may impact future generations.

The GGACHA symposium also afforded an excellent opportunity for further engagement between graduate students at Bryn Mawr and Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. In particular, while visiting as an exchange student for a week at Bryn Mawr, Hanife Nurbahar Kurtlu of Koç University gave a presentation at the symposium titled, Time Accumulates in Things: Delving Into the Experience of Archaeological Deep Time. During her visit to Bryn Mawr, she also participated in courses, such as the Graduate Group Seminar: Death and Beyond, in addition to Professor Lisa Salzman’s graduate seminar, History and Memory.

For over a decade, Bryn Mawr has been in partnership with Koç University, and this cooperation has resulted in the development of a fully funded exchange program, enabling, for instance, students from all three departments in the Graduate Group to participate in summer programs abroad, such as Cappadocia in Context (CAPP) and the Ancient Languages of Anatolia Summer Program (ALA). Global Bryn Mawr and the GGACHA look forward to further collaboration between Bryn Mawr and Koç University’s academic communities.