Maggie Popkin

Faculty Work-in-Progress: “Object Memory: Souvenirs and Memorabilia in the Roman Empire”

Maggie Popkin, the Robson Assistant Professor of Art History, will give the Baker-Nord Center for Humanities’ next Faculty Work-in-Progress talk.

Her lecture, titled “Object Memory: Souvenirs and Memorabilia in the Roman Empire,” will be held Thursday, Nov. 2, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Clark Hall, Room 206.

A pre-lecture reception will begin at 4:15 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is available online.

Talk details

The Roman Empire produced a rich range of souvenirs and memorabilia commemorating cities, monuments, sporting and theatrical events, and religious rituals. At a time when literacy was limited and visual communication was essential, these objects were a critical means for generating and mediating memory and knowledge of their represented subjects. This talk examines various examples of Roman souvenirs and memorabilia, including glass flasks engraved with scenes of tourist destinations, miniature replicas of famous cult statues, and drinking cups with pictures of famous gladiators and charioteers. Popkin explores how these objects constructed knowledge in an era before mechanical and digital reproduction. Although often overlooked by historians of Roman art, souvenirs and memorabilia shed light on how objects and images helped ancient Romans conceptualize their world.