The 3rd Annual CYA Student Conference “The Iconography of Power: Art, Politics, Propaganda & Religion in the Mediterranean across Time” took place on May 2-3, 2019.
The conference stimulated a broad-based and multi-disciplinary discussion on the fundamental role of images in shaping ideologies, beliefs, and identities. The temporal focus of the papers extended from the 5th c. BCE to the present, and topics ranged from the study of statues and monumental structures to examination of modern day photographs and feminist graffiti daubed on the walls of contemporary Athens.
This 3rd student conference involved a record number of participants, and its success proves that an event which started as an academic experiment has now become a CYA institution.
On the first day of the conference, 11 CYA students came together to present their research and exchange ideas on the iconography of power during antiquity. CYA Vice President for Academic Affairs Theoni Scourta opened the day by highlighting how this annual event affords students the valuable opportunity to present their academic research within a conference setting, having followed every step in the preparation process. Later, CYA Archaeology Professor and Conference Chair Angelos Papadopoulos praised the participants on how they had presented the results of their research, discussed issues of methodology, and responded to a variety of questions from the audience of CYA students and professors: “They stood at the conference podium bravely and this will most definitely be a major milestone in their academic careers”.
CYA students Joshua Anthony (University of Notre Dame), Hao Wei (Hampshire College), Colin Shields (College of Charleston), Erin Robichaud (College of Wooster), Max Shiller (Valparaiso University), Jenna Weatherwax (Grand Valley State University) and Mathilda Harris (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse) presented their papers on day one. Their conference presentations were followed by a poster presentation by Marren Higgins (Wheaton College), Zoe Ousouljoglou (Skidmore College) and Parker Sarra (DePaul University).
The second day of the conference examined the iconography of power in a contemporary context and was chaired by CYA Cultural Heritage and Art History Professor Athena Hadji. It included six papers by CYA students Daniel Te (Princeton University), Caroline Farrell (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Daija Solano (Fairfield University), Ashleigh David (University of Pennsylvania), Anna Vargas (Wellesley College), and Sam Kennedy (University of Notre Dame).
The conference also featured keynote speaker Pavlos Samios, a renowned Greek artist. In a lecture entitled “Re-envisioned: The Color and Design of the Parthenon Frieze”, Samios presented his ideas on the composition, colors, scale, and techniques used in the Parthenon frieze. His fascinating presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session, with active participation from both our US students and the Athenian audience.
The lecture was followed by a reception on the rooftop of the CYA Academic Center overlooking the Acropolis – the perfect setting for the guests to continue their discussion about the Parthenon Marbles.