The Roman Everyday module focuses on how we write the history of Roman daily life and ‘history from below’, utilising material culture, texts and frameworks developed within history, sociology and other disciplines. The module focuses on introducing students to the material culture of daily life and how we tell history from it. A workshop with an experimental archaeologist and practising potter, Graham Taylor, on mould made ceramics will provide an interdisciplinary perspective on these objects, allowing students to see the process involved in their manufacture and allowing students to also try their hand at making a Roman lamp and a deity figurine. This will enable the students to gain first hand knowledge of the biography of these objects, and will also provide them with a greater understanding of the materiality of these objects, and will provide them an opportunity to think creatively about how we can write the histories of ancient craftsmen, who leave little behind beyond the products they made.
I would run the workshop in the first part of the term (on a Wednesday afternoon or whenever there is a free slot in our teaching schedule), and then in the second part of the term I would run a seminar that will ask the students to develop an exhibition using the Antiquities Room in the Department of Classics and Ancient History. The audience of the exhibition would be the wider university, and students would be divided into groups to develop different sections related to Roman mould made ceramics. The students would be free to develop the title of the exhibition and the sections, in light of what they have learnt from the workshop, module lectures and their own research. The exhibition would be on display until the latter part of Term 3 (or later, depending on demand for the space for other exhibitions). This will enable the students to actively tell the story of the 'Roman everyday' to the wider community, putting into practice one of the wider themes of the module, as well as developing their communication and public engagement skills.
The proposed project will foster community via shared participation in a workshop, working as a group to put on an exhibition, and in engaging the wider university community with student research. It also introduces a creative, interdisciplinary element into the module. I would also use the materials created by the project to teach this topic on the module in the future.