University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity

Thursday, April 4, 2019
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus

Professor Karen B. Stern will present the Gene and Georgia Mittelman Lecture in Judaic Studies: "Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity." A kosher lunch will be provided.

The talk is free and open to the public. It is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Humanities Institute, the Anthropology Department, and the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or

About the Talk: Few direct clues exist to the everyday lives and beliefs of ordinary Jews in antiquity. Just like their neighbors throughout the eastern and southern Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt, ancient Jews scribbled and drew graffiti everyplace—in and around markets, hippodromes, theaters, pagan temples, open cliffs, sanctuaries, and even inside burial caves and synagogues. In this talk, Prof. Stern reveals how these markings can tell us more than we might expect about the men and women who made them. Drawing analogies with modern graffiti practices, she documents the overlooked connections between Jews and their neighbors to shed new light on the richness of their quotidian lives and on how commonly popular Jewish practices of prayer, mortuary commemoration, commerce, and civic engagement crossed ethnic and religious boundaries.

About the Speaker: Karen B. Stern, Associate Professor of History at Brooklyn College of CUNY, conducts research across disciplines of archaeology, history, and religion and teaches courses on Mediterranean cultural history, visual history, and the material culture of Jews in the Greek and Roman worlds. She has conducted field research throughout the Mediterranean and has excavated in Petra (Jordan), Sepphoris (Israel), and ancient Pylos and the Athenian Agora (Greece). Having taught at Dartmouth College, USC, and Brown University, she has served as a research fellow of the NEH, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (Jerusalem), and the Getty Villa.


Pamela Weathers, 860-486-2271,

Judaic Studies (primary), CLAS Undergraduate Students, First Year Programs & Learning Communities, Humanities Institute, Literatures, Cultures and Languages, UConn Master Calendar

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