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UrbNet Visiting Professor: Christopher Hallett, University of California, Berkeley (1 September 2023 - 30 June 2024)

Christopher Hallett (PhD, Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, University of California, Berkeley, 1993) is Professor in History of Arts and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Hallett is known as a specialist in Roman sculpture, having published a number of studies on Roman portraiture, including a book-length treatment of nude portraiture - The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 BC–AD 300 (Oxford 2005).

He is a practicing field archaeologist, and has participated in archaeological fieldwork in Israel, Turkey, and in Egypt. Since 1991 he has worked at New York University’s excavations at Aphrodisias in southwestern Turkey. His research interests thus include the visual culture of Roman Asia Minor. He is co-author (with R.R.R. Smith, Sheila Dillon, Julia Lenaghan, and Julie van Voorhis) of Roman Portrait Sculpture of Aphrodisias (Mainz am Rhein 2006), and he is currently preparing for publication of the sculpture from the city's Bouleuterion (Council House).

As a graduate student Hallett also trained as an Egyptologist, spending five years studying Egyptian hieroglyphics and all phases of the Egyptian language. In 1989 he worked as an epigrapher on the Giza Mastaba Project under the direction of Dr. A.M. Roth. He occasionally teaches graduate seminars on Egyptian art, and has maintained a research interest in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt—particularly the Roman period mummy portraits, the hard stone portraits of Egyptian priests, and the Pharoanic portrait images of the Ptolemies and Roman emperors.

UrbNet Visiting Professor: Jörg Rüpke, Max-Weber-Kolleg, Universität Erfurt (30 October - 11 November 2023)

Jörg Rüpke is Professor of Comparative History of Religion, and is an international capacity within the field of the history of religion and ancient religions. He has published widely on issues related to historiography and history of religion and has a strong research emphasis on religion of the Roman period. He is the author of numerous high-impact articles and monographs and PI of the ERC Advanced Grant Project Lived Ancient Religion based at Universität Erfurt.

Rüpke studied comparative religions, Latin and theology at the University of Bonn, Lancaster University and the University of Tübingen. He received his PhD in 1989 from Tübingen University with a thesis on the religious construction of war in Rome, and remained at the university for a habilitation thesis on the Roman calendar. Rüpke received his venia legendi in Comparative Religions in 1994, to which he added the venia legendi in Philology the following year.

Rüpke has held numerous fellowships at foreign universities and research centers: he was guest lecturer at the Sorbonne, Paris, in 2004; Webst-Lecturer at Stanford University, CA, in 2005; fellow of the Humanity Council at Princeton University, NJ, in 2009; visiting professor at the Collège de France, Paris, and Aarhus University in 2010; as well as honorary professor of Aarhus University and visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 2011.

He received the Gay Lussac-Humboldt Price for German-French co-operation in 2008 for his outstanding research in the area of Roman religion and his notable collaboration with French scholars, as well as the Price of the Deutsche Börsenverein in 2010. In January 2012, Rüpke was appointed by German Federal President Christian Wulff to the German Council of Science and Humanities.

During his stay at UrbNet, Prof. Rüpke will give a lecture series titled Roman Religion Through an Urban Lens. The individual lectures are as follows: