Julia L. Shear, 2021–22

Project Title:

Creating Collective Memories in Ancient Athens

Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship, 2021–22

CHS Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University and Senior Associate Member, American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Shear, Julia

Julia L. Shear works on ancient Athenian social and culture history. She uses both historical evidence and evidence from material culture and epigraphy to provide a holistic picture of ancient Athens and she also applies theories and approaches developed in the social sciences to the ancient Greek material. She received her PhD from the Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World at the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently, she held a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge which led to her first book, Polis and Revolution: Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens (Cambridge, 2011). A series of articles and her current book project on creating collective memory in classical Athens have developed out of this monograph. Another strand of her research focuses on ancient Greek religion, on which she has written a number of articles, as well as her book, Serving Athena: The Festival of the Panathenaia and the Construction of Athenian Identities (Cambridge, 2021). She has also taught at the University of Glasgow and at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She has been a frequent member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, both as a student and as a senior member, and she has held three fellowships there. Her NEH fellowship at the School in 2019–20 allowed her to start her book project on ancient Athenian collective memory. She has received further support for this project from Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, where she was in residence in the autumn semester of 2021–22.

Selected Publications

Serving Athena

  • Shear, Julia L. Serving Athena: The Festival of the Panathenaia and the Construction of Athenian Identities. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
  • Shear, Julia L. “An Inconvenient Past in Hellenistic Athens: The Case of Phaidros of Sphettos.” In Shaping Memory in Ancient Greece: Poetry, Historiography, and Epigraphy, edited by C. Constantakopoulou, and M. Fragoulaki, 269-301. Histos, supplement 11. Durham, UK: Department of Classics, University of Durham, 2020.
  • Shear, Julia L. “Writing Past and Present in Hellenistic Athens: The Honours for Demosthenes.” In Writing Matters: Presenting and Perceiving Monumental Inscriptions in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, edited by I. Berti, K. Bolle, F. Opdenhoff, and F. Stroth, 161-189. Materiale Textkulturen 14. Berlin: De Gruyter Verlag, 2017.
  • Shear, Julia L. “‘Their Memories will Never Grow Old’: The Politics of Remembrance in the Athenian Funeral Orations.” Classical Quarterly 63 (2013): 511-36.
  • Shear, Julia L. Polis and Revolution: Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
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