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Inaugural Lectures: Getty Research Institute Scholar Year 2007–8

Every year since 1985 the Getty Research Institute has invited scholars, artists, and other cultural figures from around the world to work in residence on projects that bear upon an annual research theme.

For the 2007–8 scholar year, the research theme at the Getty Center is Change, and the research theme at the Getty Villa is Cultural Identity and the Peoples of the Ancient Mediterranean.

To inaugurate the scholar year, Getty Villa Professor Erich Gruen and Getty Center Professor Angus Fletcher present free public lectures, open to all, on topics related to the annual themes.

October 4: Erich Gruen on Identity Theft in the Ancient Mediterranean World

October 17: Angus Fletcher on Change

Erich Gruen
Identity Theft in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Date: Thursday, October 4, 2007
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

Most scholars believe that ancient peoples constructed their cultural identities by invoking negative stereotypes of foreign "Others." Erich Gruen of the University of California, Berkeley, and Getty Villa Professor 2007–2008, argues that the ancients often associated themselves positively with others by "stealing" their identities for themselves. Gruen discusses how this impacts our understanding of their societies.

This lecture inaugurates the Getty Research Institute's 2007–2008 scholar year at the Getty Villa, whose theme is Cultural Identity and the Peoples of the Ancient Mediterranean.

About Erich Gruen
Erich Gruen is Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include Hellenistic history, Roman history, and Jews in the Graeco-Roman world. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (1974), The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome (1984), Culture and National Identity in Republican Rome (1992), Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (1998), and Diaspora: Jews amidst the Greeks and Romans (2002). Gruen is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and has been a visiting scholar and professor at Oxford University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Princeton University, Cornell University, and the American Academy in Rome, among other institutions. An outstanding teacher, he has received both the Phi Beta Kappa Award for excellence in teaching and the University of California's Distinguished Teaching Award. In 1988 Gruen received the James Henry Breasted Prize, awarded by the American Historical Association for an outstanding book in any field of history prior to A.D. 1000, for The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome. Born in Vienna, Austria, Gruen was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for distinguished work in scholarship or the arts in 1999.


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Angus Fletcher
Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer: Reflections on Change

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall
Admission: Free; reservations required.

In this lecture, Angus Fletcher highlights the relationship between philosopher and artist as a prelude to considering various fundamental ideas of change in three domains: the natural world, the world of the arts, and the world of thought. These forms of life are always changing their apparent shapes and dimensions, as time passes in nature and in human affairs. Fletcher advances a theory of change that focuses any and all understandings of cultural development. He suggests major conceptual issues for theories of change, illuminating scenes from the drama of Western intellectual life.

This lecture inaugurates the Getty Research Institute's 2007–2008 scholar year at the Getty Center, whose theme is Change.

About Angus Fletcher
Angus Fletcher joins the 2007–2008 Getty scholars in residence as the inaugural Getty Center Professor. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School at the City University of New York. His research interests include theory of literature, comparative literature, allegory, the literature of nature, Edmund Spenser, and postmodernisms. He is perhaps best known for his classic study, Allegory: The Theory of a Symbolic Mode (1964). Fletcher is also the author of Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare (2007), A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination (2004), Colors of the Mind: Conjectures on Thinking and Literature (1991), The Prophetic Moment: An Essay on Spenser (1971), and The Transcendental Masque: An Essay on Milton's Comus (1971). Fletcher has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles and at Princeton. A guest lecturer at institutions such as Yale University, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago, he has also been a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2005 he was awarded the Truman Capote Prize in Literary Criticism, recognizing his New Theory for American Poetry. Most recently, he was the recipient of a 2007 Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Humanities. During the summers of 2006 and 2007, he helped to start the School of Letters at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, a program that is now flourishing.

La terre n'est pas precisement ronde

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How to Get to the Getty Villa
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

How to Get to the Getty Center
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.