“Voices of Ancient Palmyra” began as an online public humanities project that explored how different publics engaged with ancient history and the destruction of ancient objects. The original goal was to encourage people of all ages and education levels to artistically rewrite words from ancient Palmyrene inscriptions, while learning about the history of the site. Artistic recreations were then uploaded to the website and social media. The project became a museum exhibition at the Fullerton Museum of Art at CSU San Bernardino, for which local artists created pieces that engaged with and reacted to ancient inscriptions. The project had three different phases or iterations: the digital exhibition, the physical art exhibition, and the immersive experience. Each phase had unique complications that arose in the process of bringing various publics, the museum, and the academy into conversation. In “Reflections” Maris explores the project’s original goals, how they changed, what worked, and the lessons for future efforts.
Carly Maris earned her PhD in Ancient History from UC Riverside in 2019. Her primary research explores Roman-Persian relations, and she is currently writing an article on a coin honoring Mark Antony that was minted in Syria. Dr. Maris also works as a Public Historian, and was recognized as a Mellon Public Fellow in 2016. In the summer of 2019, Dr. Maris co-curated an exhibition at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art on ancient writings in Palmyra, for which she won the Society for Classical Studies ‘Classics Everywhere’ award. She currently teaches history courses at UC Riverside and CSU San Bernardino.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands Research Focus Group