The Archaia qualification provides intellectual opportunities to graduate students with wide-ranging interests in the ancient and premodern worlds, extending their studies beyond departmental lines and incorporating methods from the social sciences and the humanities. Students fulfill the requirements of their home department, with a course of study individually tailored to allow for rigorous interdisciplinary work via seminars and independent study. The qualification is open to graduate students at Yale. For details, see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Programs and Policies.

The Core Seminar
The workshop theme for 2016-17 is “Fakes and Forgeries.” The associated Core Seminar will meet in Spring 2016 and is co-taught by Irene Peirano Garrison (Classics) and Eckart Frahm (NELC).

A comparative exploration of notions of forgery and authenticity in the ancient and premodern worlds, in a variety of civilizations (ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, China, India, etc.) and different political, religious, literary, and artistic contexts. Emphasis is also placed on the pivotal role played by the “authentic” in the modern era in disciplines such as philology and aesthetics, the manipulative uses of ancient history for purposes of modern nation building and identity formation, copies and reconstructions of ancient artifacts, and the role of forgeries in today’s antiquities trade.

Graduate Student Initiatives
The Ancient Judaism Workshop

An Ancient Judaism research workshop, intended to offer a setting for graduate students to share their current research with their fellow graduate students. This workshop allows a sense of academic sharing within the program and offers a suitable setting for students to present their work for evaluation and feedback before presenting their work to the larger academic community. The workshop also invites faculty members to share with the workshop’s participants some of their most recent research projects, in order to allow a vibrant atmosphere for academic discussions among faculty and graduate students. The workshop occasionally invites participants from other universities to share their recent academic findings, especially if the person in mind has recently completed a research project of interest to the participants of the workshop.

The Pre-modern Gender & Sexuality Working Group (PGSWG)

offers a forum for students and academic fellows to meet and tackle questions and problems with like-minded colleagues who have a shared interest in gender and sexuality as well as the pre-modern. Thus the group also addresses issues of sources, methods, and frameworks for the study of pre-modern societies. Read More

The Yale Interdisciplinary Workshop for the Study of Antiquity (YIWSA)

The Yale Interdisciplinary Working Group for the Study of Antiquity (the Ancient Societies Working Group) is a forum for graduate students who take the distant past as their object of study. Once a month participants gather to hear two students from different departments give papers that serve as the basis for a broader discussion across conventional disciplinary boundaries. Our scope for the term “antiquity” (or “antiquities”) is broad: we welcome students of cultures across the globe and periods across the ages to share their approaches to the past.  At the end of each semester we host a panel with faculty from Yale and elsewhere to provide comparative perspectives on a selected topic.

Y​IWSA​ is soliciting presentations for the academic year 2016–2017. All graduate students and post-docs are invited to apply who research any dimension of the ancient or premodern world and who would like to share their work with colleagues from various disciplines. Presenters will give a 20-minute informal presentation at one of our sessions alongside another presentation by a colleague from a different department. Works in progress, preliminary explorations, and teach-ins are welcome as well as polished work and old topics worth revisiting, so long as the presenter is committed to communicating his or her idea in a way accessible to those outside his or her field and open to questions, comments, and comparative discussion. The goal of the working group is to promote dialog across disciplinary boundaries (of Classics, History, Religious Studies, Medieval Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, East Asian Languages and Literatures, History of Art, South Asian Studies, etc.) among all of us who share the distant past as our object of study. Meetings will be held monthly on Thursdays at 5:30 pm.

Those interested in presenting during the academic year 2016–2017 should contact James Nati ( with preliminary proposals or any questions. We request proposals by September 15 at the latest.

For more information, contact Asia Del Bonis-O’Donnell (History of Art), Nicholas Kraus (NELC), or James Nati (Religious Studies).
The tentative schedule for the academic year 2016-2017 will be announced in late mid-September. Read More

The Yale Arabic Philosophy Group

The Arabic Philosophy Group addresses itself equally to philosophers, Arabists, and Islamicists as well as to students and scholars of Classics, and Medieval, Renaissance, and Judaic studies. The speakers are asked to present original texts in English translation, so that knowledge of Arabic is not required to follow the presentation and participate in the discussion. Read More 

Participating Departments and Schools