Christopher van den Berg - portrait

Christopher van den Berg

Andrew Heiskell/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize
September 9, 2019–April 3, 2020
Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Amherst College
Project title
Critical Matter: Performance, Identity, and Object in Greco-Roman Criticism
Project description

My project offers a new theoretical framework for understanding the social and aesthetic stakes of literary criticism in Greco-Roman antiquity. My interdisciplinary approach considers how reception of the spoken word is inherently linked to the reception of visual media. The book analyzes a range of Greco-Roman texts of criticism but does so by paying serious attention to the material contexts of these discussions, drawing on fields such as art history, archaeology, numismatics, and epigraphy. “Critical Matter” argues for a broad rethinking of ancient criticism and literary history and thus aims to reshape the canon of classical criticism as it examines the nexus between literary creation and evaluation, political identity, and the textual life of material objects.