Nandini Pandey, associate professor of classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will give an Antiquity in the New Millennium Lecture: "Diversity and Domination at the Roman Dinner Table."
Her talk will explore how did the Romans thought about and experienced their empire's extraordinary ethnic and geographical diversity.
Dr. Pandey suggests that "heterotopias of diversity" — civic, domestic and literary spaces where Romans collected tokens of their multicultural empire — played an important role in helping elites learn to value and negotiate difference.
Her analysis brings material evidence to bear on Petronius' Satyricon to examine the early imperial dining table as one such place.
Multinational labor, art, and consumer goods brought the world to elite Romans, but also reinforced the social dynamics and consumerism that drove Roman imperialism, in ways that might make us rethink modern performances of cosmopolitanism through cuisine.
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