Charlotte Mandy

Charlee Mandy is a first-year student in the Classical Studies Ph.D. program. She is interested in ancient Roman material culture, examining evidence of popular religion, the lives of enslaved people, and generally the social and material worlds of the non-elite. Charlee earned her B.A. from Cornell University (May 2023, summa cum laude) and also studied at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (Spring 2022).

As a member of the Humanities Scholars Program at Cornell, she wrote and presented an honors thesis entitled "At Hearths and Thresholds: The Religious Lives of Slaves in Pompeian Households." This paper synthesized analysis of domestic space, household shrines, graffiti, and an array of literary references to explore the complicated roles of household slaves in domestic religion. Charlee was especially interested in the Lares familiares, exploring how these deities may have been an outlet for occluding complete reliance upon enslaved labor, as well as for co-optation and enslaved people's personal or communal resilience.

Charlee has enjoyed working in the summers of 2022 and 2023 on the Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP), at a site in southern Tuscany that offers a window onto the people and practices of rural crafting communities in the Roman period. Charlee is also drawn to community-engaged work and excavated in the fall of 2021 with St. James AME Zion Church in Ithaca, NY, at a historic stop on the Underground Railroad. She is seeking ways to support the collaborative expansion of archaeology's interdisciplinary research methodologies.

In Roman contexts spanning the archaic period to the late Empire, Charlee is keen to continue to study popular religion and the lives of both enslaved and freed-people. Outside of her academic work, Charlee is finishing the first draft of a sci-fi novel and loves painting outdoors.

Photo credit: Chris Kitchen