The Mellon workshop, established by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, is awarded to graduate students in the Humanities. Typically Brown awards only five graduate workshops each year. The workshop is intended to both provide a means by which to facilitate dissertation completion and to foster communication across disciplines within the academy. Each group is encouraged to bring visitors to campus who will enable their participants to refine their writing and promote new depths of understanding in their work. On a more regular basis, the groups serve as forums to discuss their participants’ writing and explore topics of mutual interest, thus fostering an environment of collaboration and intellectual exchange.
Julia's workshop is entitled "Local Religious Practice in the Ancient World." In her proposal, she writes of the motivations and justifications of her workshop: "Religious practice has been an innate part of the human experience. This workshop seeks to understand the dynamic qualities of religious practice in local settings. These practices are ephemeral and symbolically imbued. Accessing them is challenging and demands a multifaceted theoretical approach. A 2005 conference at Brown, and subsequent book, “Household and Family Religion in Antiquity,” successfully brought leading scholars together, showcasing the University’s faculty as leaders in this discourse. This workshop will uniquely provide a forum for Brown graduate students to engage in this conversation – bridging cross-disciplinary gaps through the presentation of theory from the disciplines of history, anthropology, archaeology, and religious studies."
The Graduate International Colloquium Grants assist graduate students from any discipline to prepare themselves professionally for work in the global academy. Julia was awarded this grant for her proposal which shares the name of her recently awarded Mellon workshop entitled "Local Religious Practice in the Ancient World." She will use this fund to invite an international scholar to speak at Brown, complementing the 'local' scholars she will invite for her Mellon workshop.