Department of Classics

John R Clarke


Other facultyPhD, Yale

Professor - Art History
John R Clarke

Contact

Interests


Greek & Roman Art and Architecture

Biography


Professor Clarke received his Ph.D. from Yale University. In 1980 he began teaching at The University of Texas at Austin, where his teaching, research, and publications focus on ancient Roman art, art-historical methodology, and contemporary art.

Clarke has seven books, and 78 essays, articles, and reviews to his credit. His first book, Roman Black-and-White Figural Mosaics, appeared in 1979. In 1991 The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration appeared. Fruit of ten years' on-site research at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ostia Antica, the book analyzes the imagery of wall painting and mosaics in 17 houses to gain an understanding of the owners' tastes and beliefs. In 1998 Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250 was published; it is a study of how erotic art can reveal ancient Roman attitudes toward love, gender, and race.

In 2003 two books appeared: Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans: Visual Representation and Non-elite Viewers in Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 315 (University of California Press) and Roman Sex, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250 (Abrams). Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans investigates how art made by or for the lower strata of Roman society encodes individuals' identity and their attitudes toward the practices of everyday life. Roman Sex expands the arguments of Looking at Lovemaking, including chapters on women's liberation in first-century A.D. Rome and new sexual representations from Roman France.

Two books appeared in 2007: Looking at Laughter: Humor, Power, and Transgression in Roman Visual Culture, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250 (California) and Roman Life, 100 B.C.-A.D. 200 (Abrams). Looking at Laughter examines the intersection of class and humor in a variety of settings, including public spectacle, tavern paintings, and graffiti. Roman Life is geared to non-specialist readers. It follows individuals known to us from archaeological evidence through the events of their daily lives; an interactive CD-ROM that allows the user to explore the richly decorated House of the Vettii at Pompeii, comes with the book.

Currently Clarke is co-director of the Oplontis Project, a collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii and the King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College, London. The Oplontis Project will furnish a comprehensive publication of this huge luxury villa (50 B.C.-A.D. 79), with all the research findings keyed to a navigable, 3D digital model. Support for the project includes a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Clarke served on the Board of Directors of the College Art Association (1991-2001), and was President from 1998-2000. Since 2000 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, serving, since 2004, as Vice-Chair of the Board.

Courses


ARH 362 • Love, Beauty, And Protection

20270 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as WGS 345)

May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Love, beauty, and protection in the art of Greece and Rome sexual representation in its social and archaeological contexts, ca. 500 B.C.-A.D. 250.

 

T C 358 • Seeing Gods: Epiphany

42880 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CRD 007B

FULL TITLE: Seeing Gods: Epiphany in Religious Practice and Visual Representation

Description

What does it mean when a believer “sees” a deity and the deity “sees” him or her?  How does visual representation, both temporary and permanent, encode this reciprocal visual and spiritual exchange between human and divinity?  This seminar will begin by examining textual and theoretical accounts of this central religious phenomenon.  We will look at the idea of dar?an in the Hindu tradition, and at its parallels in the concept of epiphany, or the appearance of the deity to the human worshiper, in ancient Mediterranean as well as Medieval and Early Modern cultures in the west—all with emphasis on visual representation as it points to or encodes belief systems.  

Topics for research include but are not limited to the following: dar?an and the contemplation of mystical images (statues, paintings, the mandorla, sacred pageants); buildings for ecstatic or mystery cults; articulated statues (automata) that “perform” epiphany by moving or speaking; the construction and use of spaces for oracles, divination, and dream-healing; visual representations of cult activities that carry, bathe, or clothe images of the divinity; the appearance of deities among mortals in narrative paintings and sculptures.  By casting a wide net, I hope to employ analysis of visual representations to open up the question of the two-way communication between divinity and mortal as a way of understanding how human beings have thought about themselves with regard to matters of the spirit.

Procedure

The course will begin with an orientation to the topic of epiphany.  I will attempt to present the major theories concerning visual representation in religious art, and to propose methods for approaching the topic in a fruitful way.  Each week the seminar will read and discuss texts, and look at images, which have the potential to shed light on the themes we are exploring. Each student will be responsible for a presentation each week, summed up in a 250-word précis to be handed in. That presentation can take the form of a critique of one of the readings, questions, or a slide or video presentation.

In early November, students will present a mini-report on their term-long project to determine its viability.  In early December each student will present a final oral report to be followed the final paper a week from the last day of class.

Texts

Freedberg, Power of Images; Eck, Dar?an

Additional readings will be posted on Canvas.

Grading 

Class participation, including weekly written reports and discussion: 20% of grade

Two take-home essay exams: 40% of grade

Term Project: final oral report and paper combined:  40% of grade

 

Biography

John R. Clarke received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1973, and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1980. John R. Clarke earned his doctorate in ancient art history at Yale University in 1973. He has published nine books. His early work focused on the architectural contexts of Roman mosaics and wall painting, with an emphasis on Roman Italy.  During the past fifteen years he has focused on how visual representations can shed light on ancient Roman attitudes toward the practices of everyday life.  His 1998 book, Looking at Lovemaking, rethinks erotic art in Roman terms. Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans examines non-elite art in its lived context.  In 2007 he published a scholarly book, entitled Looking at Laughter, on visual humor. In the same year Roman Life appeared, a fully-illustrated book for laypersons accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM. He is currently director of the Oplontis Project, a collaborative effort to excavate and publish the famous Villas (“of Poppaea” and “of Lucius Crassius Tertius”) at Torre Annunziata, near Pompeii (www.oplontisproject.org). The first volume of four dedicated to Villa A appeared in 2014, as an Open-Access born-digital publication: Oplontis Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy: The Ancient Landscape and Modern Rediscovery (SEE LINK BELOW).  Clarke is co-curator of a major international loan exhibition, “Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii,” (2016-2017). Clarke has also done significant work in the digital humanities and virtual reality.

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=acls;idno=heb90048.0001.001

T C 357 • Seeing Gods

42115 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CRD 007B

Description

What does it mean when a believer “sees” a deity and the deity “sees” him or her?  How does visual representation, both temporary and permanent, encode this reciprocal visual and spiritual exchange between human and divinity?  This seminar will begin by examining textual and theoretical accounts of this central religious phenomenon.  We will look at the idea of dar?an in the Hindu tradition, and at its parallels in the concept of epiphany, or the appearance of the deity to the human worshiper, in ancient Mediterranean as well as Medieval and Early Modern cultures in the west—all with emphasis on visual representation as it points to or encodes belief systems.  

Topics for research include but are not limited to the following: dar?an and the contemplation of mystical images (statues, paintings, the mandorla, sacred pageants); buildings for ecstatic or mystery cults; articulated statues (automata) that “perform” epiphany by moving or speaking; the construction and use of spaces for oracles, divination, and dream-healing; visual representations of cult activities that carry, bathe, or clothe images of the divinity; the appearance of deities among mortals in narrative paintings and sculptures.  By casting a wide net, I hope to employ analysis of visual representations to open up the question of the two-way communication between divinity and mortal as a way of understanding how human beings have thought about themselves with regard to matters of the spirit.

 

Procedure

The course will begin with an orientation to the topic of epiphany.  I will attempt to present the major theories concerning visual representation in religious art, and to propose methods for approaching the topic in a fruitful way.  Each week the seminar will read and discuss texts, and look at images, which have the potential to shed light on the themes we are exploring. Each student will be responsible for a presentation each week, summed up in a 250-word précis to be handed in. That presentation can take the form of a critique of one of the readings, questions, or a slide or video presentation.

In early April, students will present a mini-report on their term-long project to determine its viability.  In early May each student will present a final oral report to be followed the final paper a week from the last day of class.

 

Grading 

Class participation, including weekly written reports and discussion: 40% of grade

Term Project: final oral report and paper combined:  60% of grade

 

Biography

John R. Clarke received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1973, and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1980. John R. Clarke earned his doctorate in ancient art history at Yale University in 1973.  He has published nine books.  His early work focused on the architectural contexts of Roman mosaics and wall painting, with an emphasis on Roman Italy.  During the past fifteen years he has focused on how visual representations can shed light on ancient Roman attitudes toward the practices of everyday life.  His 1998 book, Looking at Lovemaking, rethinks erotic art in Roman terms.  Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans examines non-elite art in its lived context.   In 2007 he published a scholarly book, entitled Looking at Laughter, on visual humor.  In the same year Roman Life appeared, a fully-illustrated book for laypersons accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM.  He is currently director of the Oplontis Project, a collaborative effort to excavate and publish the famous Villas (“of Poppaea” and “of Lucius Crassius Tertius”) at Torre Annunziata, near Pompeii. The first volume of four dedicated to Villa A appeared in 2014, as an Open-Access born-digital publication: Oplontis Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy: The Ancient Landscape and Modern Rediscovery

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=acls;idno=heb90048.0001.001

 

Readings

The asterisk * indicates assigned excerpt from this source.

 

General

*Freedberg, David. The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response.

Chicago: 1989.

 

*Gombrich, Ernst. Image and the Eye. New York: 1994.

 

*Gross, Kenneth.  “Resisting Pygmalion,” Chapter 6 of The Dream of the Moving Statue.  Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1992, 92-109.

 

Hersey, George L. Falling in Love with Statues: Artificial Humans from Pygmalion to the Present.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.  BL 325 L67 H477 2009.

 

Theory

Althusser, Louis.  "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses." Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays.  New York: Monthly Review Press.

 

Baudrillard, J. Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994.

 

Lacan, J.M.E., "Symbol and Language." The Language of the Self. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1956.

 

Saussure, Ferdinand de, “Linguistic Value,” in Writings in General Linguistics. Edited by Simon Bouquet and Rudolf Engler. Oxford, 2006. 

 

Ancient Near East

Farber, Walter. “Witchcraft, Magic, and Divination in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. 3.  Jack M. Sasson, ed.  1995.  1895-1909.

 

Scurlock, Jo Ann. “Magical Means of Dealing with Ghosts in Ancient Mesopotamia,” Ph.D. Dissertation (University of Chicago, 1988). 

 

Ancient India

*Davis, Richard H. “Living Images,” Chapter 1 of Lives of Indian Images. Princeton: 1997, 15-48.

 

*Preston, James J. “Creation of the Sacred Image: Apotheosis and Destruction in Hinduism” in Waghorne, Joanne Punzo & Cutler, Norman. Eds. Gods of Flesh Gods of Stone: The Embodiment of Divinity in India, 9-28. Chambersburg, Pa: Anima Books, 1985. 

 

*Eck, Diane L. Dar?an: Seeing the Divine Image in India. Chambersburg, Pa.: Anima Books, 1981.

 

Ancient Egypt

Assmann, Jan. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Translated by D. Lorton (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001).

 

Hornung, Erik. Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many. Translated by J. Baines (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1971).

 

Meeks, Dimitri & Favard-Meeks, Christine. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Translated by G.M. Goshgarian (Ithaca:1996).

 

Ancient Aegean (Pre-Greek)

* Burkert, Walter. “From Epiphany to Cult Statue: Early Greek Theos.” In What is a God? Studies in the Nature of Greek Divinity, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 15-26.  London: Duckworth, in association with the Classical Press of Wales, 1997. 

 

Hägg, Robin. "Epiphany in Minoan Ritual." Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies University of London 30 (1983) p. 184-185

 

Laffineur, Robert and Robin Hägg, eds., Potnia: Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegaeum 22, Liège 2001).

 

*Marinatos, Nanno.  Minoan Religion: Ritual, Image, and Symbol. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1993. 

 

______.  "Epiphany, Experience Elusive, Concept ambiguous." (With Dimitris

Kyrtatas) in Divine Epiphany in the Ancient World, Illinois Classical Studies 29

2005. ______.  “Minoan Epiphanies,” in Divine Epiphany in the Ancient World. ICS 29 (2005).

 

 

Greece

Berve, Helmut, and Gottfried Gruben. Greek Temples, Theatres, and Shrines.  Trans. Richard Waterhouse. London: Thames and Hudson, 1963.

 

Clinton, Kevin. “Epiphany in the Eleusinian Mysteries,” Illinois Classical Studies 29 (2004): 85–101.

 

Fontenrose, Joseph. Apollo’s Oracle, Cult, and Companions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

Frazer, J. G. translator and editor. Pausanias’s Description of Greece, vol. 3. London: Macmillan, 1898.

Graf, Fritz . “Trick or Treat? On Collective Epiphanies in Antiquity.” Illinois Classical Studies 29 (2004) 111–27

 

Haluszka, Adria. “Sacred Signified: The Semiotics of Statues in Greek Magical Papyri.”

Arethusa 41 (2008), 479-494.

 

*Holowchack, M. Andrew, “Interpreting Dreams for Corrective Regiment: Diagnostic

Dreams in Greco-Roman Medicine,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 56.4 (2001), 382-399.

 

Marinatos,Nanno and Danuta Shanzer. Illinois Classical Studies 29 (2004).

*Morris, Sarah P. Daidalos and the Origins of Greek Art. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992). 

 

Oberhalman, Steven M. “Dreams in Greco-Roman Medicine,” ANRW II.37.1: 122-156.

(1993).

 

Petsalis-Diomidis, Alexia.  "Body in space: visual dynamics in Graeco-Roman healing pilgrimage" in Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity: Seeing the Gods. Jas Elsner and Ian Rutherford, eds. (2005).

 

Scully, Vincent J. The Earth, the Temple, and the Gods: Greek Sacred Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962.

 

 

Rome

Barton, Tamsyn S. Power and Knowledge. Astrology, Physiognomics, and Medicine under the Roman Empire. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1994

 

Beard, Mary, John North, Simon Price.  The Religions of Rome.  2 vols.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 

 

Behr, Charles A. Aelius Aristides and The Sacred Tales. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert (1968).

 

Champion, C.B. Cultural Politics in Polybius’s Histories (Berekley, 2004).

 

*Clarke, John R.  Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans: Visual Representation and Non-elite Viewers in Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 315. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 

 

*_______.  Looking at Laughter: Humor, Power, and Transgression in Roman Visual Culture, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.  

 

______.   “Representations of Worship at Rome, Pompeii, Heraculaneum, and Ostia in the Imperial Period. A Model of Production and Consumption.”  In Contested Spaces: Houses and Temples in Roman Antiquity and the New Testament, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, edited by David L. Balch and Annette Weissenrieder, 3-20. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.

 

______.  “Constructing the Spaces of Epiphany in Ancient Greek and Roman Visual Culture.”  In Text, Image and Christians in a Graeco-Roman World: A Festschrift in Honor of David Lee Balch.  Princeton Theological Monograph Series 176, edited by Aliou Cissé Niang and Carolyn Osiek, 257-279. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2011.

 

Elsner, Ja?.  Art and the Roman Viewer.  New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995.Fine Arts Library Reserves N 5760 E48 1995

 

­­­Elsner, Ja? and Ian Rutherford, eds.  Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity: Seeing the Gods.  New York : Oxford University Press, 2005. Fine Arts Library Reserves DF 121 P55 2005

 

Flower, Harriet I. Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture (Oxford, 1996).

 

*Hamberg, Per Gustav.  Studies in Roman Imperial Art, with Special Reference to the State Reliefs of the Second Century.  Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1945. 

 

*Miller, P. C. “Dreams and Therapy,” Chapter 4 of Dreams in Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imagination. Princeton: Princeton University Press: 1994, 106-123.

 

*Price, S. “From noble funerals to divine cult: the consecration of Roman Emperors,” Rituals of Royalty: Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Society, D. Cannadine and S. Price eds.,(Cambridge, 1987) 57-70.  

 

Judeo-Christian

 

Hamori, Esther J. When Gods Were Men: The Embodied God in Biblical and Near Eastern Literature. Berlin: 2008.

 

Mettinger, Tryggve N. In Search of God: The Meaning and Message of the EverlastingNames. Minneapolis: 2005.

 

Savran, George. Encountering the Divine. Berlin: 2005.

EUS 347 • Art In Lives Ordinary Romans

35695 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110

Please check back for updates.

EUS 347 • Art In Lives Ordinary Romans

36490 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110

Please check back for updates.

EUS 347 • Art In Everyday Life Anc Rome

36350 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110

Please check back for updates.

EUS 347 • Art In Everyday Life Anc Roman

36550 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110

Please check back for updates.

EUS 347 • Art In Everyday Life Anc Roman

36166 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110

Please check back for updates.

C C 348 • Art In Everyday Life Anc Roman

31970 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM DFA 2.204

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

C C 348 • Art In Everyday Life Anc Roman

31055 • Spring 2006
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM DFA 2.204

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

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