This week, we’re traveling back to one of our favorite sites for curiosity: the ancient Mediterranean. Professors Sarah Derbew and Nandini Pandey join Jonathan to discuss how people across the region experienced cultural diversity; how they related to—and set themselves apart from—their neighbors; and what it looks like to approach the ancient past on its own terms rather than filtered through contemporary assumptions.
Sarah Derbew is an assistant professor of Classics at Stanford University. She writes, teaches, and speaks widely about ancient Greece’s literary and visual heritage, considering its representations of black people that nimbly provoke – and cut through – modern hierarchies.
Nandini Pandey is an associate professor of classics at Johns Hopkins University who writes and teaches about Roman culture, Latin literature, ancient race and identity, and the ways that all of these live on in the modern world.
Want to learn more about race in classical antiquity? Professor Pandey recommends Rebecca Futo Kennedy’s writing.
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.
Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.
Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.