You’d be forgiven for momentarily thinking that We the Humanities had been taken over by Classicists. There certainly have been a proliferation of us recently, but that’s perfect: classics is the original interdisciplinary discipline! However – I’m not a classicist. I’m Ellie, and I’m an ancient historian. I have a PhD in Classics from King’s College London, where I’ve been teaching on-and-off for the last two years.
Very roughly my research is about people and stuff, and how and why people use tangible and intangible stuff to assert their individual and collective identities though religious practice (are you still with me?). Long form I look at the intersection between civic and personal religion in archaic and classical Greece (c. 800-323 BCE, but I’m happy to talk about the arbitrary nature of our dating systems and periodisation). I use the methodological framework of religious materialism, because it’s not really possible to do ethnographic research on ancient people (we can also chat etic and emic approaches, and time-travelling classicists if you’d like!). At the moment, I’m particularly interested in finding individual experience at large-scale civic festivals, and in a very select group of little girls in Athens called the arrhephoroi to weave (but not really) a dress to give to a goddess (so, I’ll also be chatting ‘active ancient history’ at some point!).
So, this week I want to predominantly chat stuff and things (and the pseudo-technical differences between them) as well as academic precarity, invisible illness, vlogging and YouTube, and finding the individual in historical research. I’ll probably also touch on parenting, mental illness (as opposed to mental health, though I’ll probably talk about that too), London, being an immigrant, privilege (those last two things are connected!), and (if it’s not too meta) Twitter.
I’ll also be sharing some of my excitement and trepidation as I prepare to move into a new role at a new university.
Before January 2nd, you can get a taste of me on Twitter (@elliemackin), on my blog, or on my YouTube channel.