Meredith CV

D.Phil., Lincoln College, University of Oxford, England in Classical Archaeology

M.A., University of Durham, England in Roman Archaeology specializing in Roman glass

B.A., University of Chicago, IL, USA in the History of Art

As a former studio artist concentrating in hot glass, one of my principal research interests is the history of making. My work encompasses a variety of geographical areas including Europe, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Sasanian Persia and the so-called Silk Road. I am the glass specialist on Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic material at Çadir Höyük, Turkey. I am also currently conducting research for a monograph highlighting the unfinished work of anonymous Roman artists as a means of recognizing their undocumented artistic processes. The focus of this research is the 3rd-7th centuries AD, a period that not only represents a zenith in late Roman carving but for which there are also a wealth of excavated production sites. This original project will blend perspectives from archaeology, art history, economic history and contemporary studio practices to add a creative dimension – that of maker – to academic discourse on visual culture that has not been fully explored. Moreover, this research is part of a burgeoning interest among social scientists, educators, cognitive and neuroscientists in embodied ways of learning and knowing. My archaeological and art historical approach endeavours to move the study of human knowledge well beyond what people say to include what they actually do, in practice.

I have received awards and fellowships from the Archaeological Institute of America, Bard Graduate Center, NY, NY, British School at Rome, Center for Arts and Humanities and Community Engaged Scholars Program at Washington State University, Clark Art Institute, Council of American Overseas Research Centers, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., European International Year of Glass, National Endowment for the Humanities, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Oxford’s Institute of Archaeology, Yale University, and SECAC’s prestigious William R. Levin Award for Research in the History of Art before 1750 for work on unfinished production processes in late Roman art and culture.

I have taught courses on viewing and the ancient world in the UK and US, at Washington State University; the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; the University of Colorado at Boulder; the University of Oxford; the University of Warwick; and the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2015, I completed a monograph, consisting of commentary and an illustrated catalogue, on openwork vessels as part of the Archaeopress Archaeology series. Entitled Word becomes Image: Openwork Vessels as a Reflection of Late Antique Transformation, this book contextualizes a type of vessel characterised by the use of a shared carving technique, the majority of which are made of glass with a minority carved from precious stone or crafted in metal. I argue that in antiquity – as today – the process of making art is fundamental to approaching and understanding ancient art. The digital images in the heavily illustrated catalogue were funded by a 2014 Samuel H. Kress Grant, administered by the Archaeological Institute of America, for Research and Publication in Classical Art and Architecture.

I edited a volume entitled Objects in Motion: The Circulation of Religion and Sacred Objects in the Late Antique and Medieval World. Some of the subjects I have published on include: culturally-meaningful inscriptions on carved vessels as a phenomenon; ekphraseis and inscriptions concerning movable material culture; late Roman rhetoric about imagery; luxury trade within and beyond the borders of the Roman Empire; Roman vs. Sasanian material in the Treasury of San Marco, Venice; and reusing gold-glass in 4th century AD funerary spaces as a means of engaging mourners.

Current research interests include: Roman Work, Craft Production, and Trade; Material Culture Studies; Eurasian Exchange and the so-called Silk Road; Ancient Technology; the Written Word on Functional Objects; and Social Theory. I am fascinated by the cultural choices inherent in the production of an object as a way of identifying and focusing on period-specific concerns and meaning, how inscriptions, and texts more broadly, inform ancient visual art, and how inscribed visual culture was viewed and interpreted.