Gregor Kalas, associate professor of the history and theory of architecture, School of Architecture, University of Tennessee, investigates late antique urban landscapes by digitally reconstructing the center of Rome in order to reveal the ritual function of buildings and the topographical linkages between significant city spaces.
His current research concerns the late antique revitalization of public architecture in the Roman Forum, Rome’s chief monumental precinct.
Kalas will deliver an Archaeological Institute of America lecture on Thursday, October 23, at 6 pm at the Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park. In his lecture, titled “Visualizing Statues in the Late Antique Roman Forum,” Kalas will explore using high-tech digital techniques to visualize the appearance of sculpture in the late antique Roman Forum. “During the fourth and fifth centuries CE, statues populating the open areas of the Roman Forum preserved memories of the individuals represented in portraits,” wrote Kalas. “This visualization project contextualizes the now dispersed statues and their inscribed bases in the public space of the late antique Forum.”
While in Nashville to deliver the AIA lecture, the next morning Kalas will welcome participants to an all-day workshop on Religion in Late Antique Culture and Society (RELACS) sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities Late Antique Seminar and the Department of History of Art.
His book, The Restoration of the Roman Forum in Late Antiquity: Transforming Public Space, is forthcoming in January 2015 by the University of Texas Press, Austin. The first comprehensive examination of the Roman Forum in late antiquity, this book explores the cultural significance of restoring monuments and statues in the city’s preeminent public space, demonstrating shifts in patronage, political power, historical associations, and aesthetics. Kalas holds degrees from Williams College (BA), Johns Hopkins University (MA), and Bryn Mawr College (PhD).
Free and open to the public, Kalas’ lecture is sponsored by the Nashville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, and Vanderbilt’s Department of Classical Studies and Department of History of Art. Those who plan to attend the AIA lecture on October 23 are encouraged to call the Nashville Parthenon at 615.862.8431 to reserve a seat.