Hailing from sunny Sydney, Australia, Evan is currently ABD and writing a dissertation entitled, Youth and Power: Roman Discourses of Age and Ageing from Plautus to Hadrian. His dissertation examines Roman discourses (in the Foucauldian sense) of age and ageing and, in particular, the intersection of discourses about “youth(fulness)” with the changing power relations at Rome over the span of nearly 350 years. He draws upon theoretical and methodological frameworks from critical theory and cultural anthropology to re-frame our understanding and ask new questions of Roman perceptions of age, suggesting that we can view age as a performance, whereby age-roles existed in Roman society, following politically determined discourses or scripts which constituted a significant element of male citizen identity. He works with diverse corpora of “texts” to recover these discourses, bringing into dialogue pieces of evidence from literary works, inscriptions, graffiti, and artistic media, particularly sculpture and numismatics.
Beyond his dissertation research, Evan’s interests are wide-ranging, from Herodotean historiography to the reception of classical art and architecture in 20th century and contemporary art, such as Cy Twombly and Giorgio de Chirico. However, he has an abiding interest in the Roman body, especially art as an embodied experience in spatial contexts, and to this end he has presented at conferences about the pygmy-dwarf motif in Roman art as a somatic spectacle, research which originated as his M.A. thesis under Professor Francesco de Angelis.
Evan has also participated in Columbia University’s (APAHA) excavations at the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa), at Tivoli, Italy and maintains a strong interest in the villa as a locus of changing Roman elite male identities. Evan came to Columbia from Macquarie University in 2012, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Ancient History (Honours) and the University Medal. At Macquarie, Evan’s Honours thesis (20,000 words), entitled: “Speak Memory: Ciceronian oratory and the politics of memoria”, sought to demonstrate the significant role which the notion of memoria and the practice of exemplarity played in Ciceronian (and Republican) rhetorical strategies. Since then, he has continued to present and publish on topics related to Cicero, the fragments of the Republican Roman orators (in conversation with Cicero) and Republican political ideologies.
In terms of teaching, Evan has been a Teaching Assistant in Latin language and Roman History, and he has been an Instructor at all levels of Latin (Elementary to Intermediate II). In the Fall of 2016, as a Teaching Scholar, Evan will teach his own self-designed 3000-level undergraduate course (HIST UN3050), entitled “Youth in Ancient Rome”. He will also participate in Columbia’s Lead Teaching Fellow (LTF) program.
In his spare time, Evan enjoys exploring his American roots, which includes trying out as many brisket recipes as possible, taking photos, and, when he gets the chance, cycling around New York (and beyond) and discovering its hidden gems, from beachside taco stands to abandoned, historic places. Email Evan Jewell.