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Stories of Objects


Objects tell many stories. Stories about their creation, function, style, significance, and manipulation. Throughout an object’s life and, in some cases, afterlife, its stories are underwritten by social, political, economic, and religious factors. The stories of objects therefore reflect upon and interact with the communities who craft them, both in antiquity and in more recent history.

Our Stories of Objects module trains our students in the close analysis of different types of objects from the ancient world, with the aim of being able to recognise and assess how different communities have engaged with objects in different contexts. Our students develop the ability to think critically about how and why the stories told by and about objects change throughout their lives and afterlives.

Learn more about the module here from its principal tutor, Dr Eris Williams Reed:

NEW!!! What our students say - the Stories of Objects Blog

We are delighted to publish the first contributions to our new blog, Stories of ObjectsLink opens in a new window: 'Black voices, Black history, and the Meroë head' by Áine Nikookam (a second-year, Classical Civilisation student here at Warwick) and 'Freeing Venus: Is the nude Aphrodite of Knidos statue liberating or does it facilitate inappropriate behaviour from the viewer?' by Louisa Armitage (also a second-year, Classical Civilisation student here at Warwick). The blog has been set-up in conjunction with the Stories of Objects moduleLink opens in a new window launched in summer 2021.

If you have any queries about the blog or would like to contribute a future post, please contact the blog's editor, Dr Eris Williams-Reed

Highlights of the module in June 2021
  • Seminars on the display of toppled statues; animals in the ancient world; classical mythology and myths told by museums; and sensory approaches to objects in the ancient and modern worlds.
  • Guided visit to Warwickshire Museum, including the opportunity for students to design their own school boxes using ancient objects.
  • Assessments include writing a blog post on a single object and an exhibition portfolio in which students design an exhibition using five objects.

Module tutors

Professor Zahra Newby (Module Leader)

Professor Newby's research interests lie in art of the Roman empire in its widest cultural contexts, including art in the provinces of the Greek east, the Roman response to Greek culture, ancient funerary art, ancient athletics, festival culture and the relationships between art and text

Dr Eris Williams Reed (Principal Tutor)

Dr Williams Reed's research centres on the history, culture and society of the Roman Mediterranean and beyond, including how ancient communities interacted with their local environments, religious traditions and practices in the eastern provinces, and cultural attitudes in and towards the 'edges' of the Roman empire.

Professor Michael Scott

Professor Scott's research focuses on the intersection of ancient history and archaeology within the Mediterranean and more widely across the ancient world, including the interrelationships between art and text, the changing perception and experience of sacred space, the political uses of architecture, the impact and use of epigraphic documents as both text and monument and the reception of the ancient world in the modern

Dr Paul Grigsby (Museum Visit)

Dr Grigsby's research focuses on Greek religion and cultural identity, with an especial interest in the region of Boeotia. He is also developing the Roman Coventry and Warwickshire Project and helps run the Warwick Classics Network with Prof Michael Scott.