NYU’s Center for Ancient Studies was created by the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) in 1996 to promote interdisciplinary and cross-cultural study of the past. The Center does this by promoting collaboration among those FAS departments and programs which focus, in whole or in part, on antiquity and its reception in the modern world. These include Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and the Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies. The Center also collaborates with NYU units outside of FAS, such as NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, and the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute.
The Center builds on rich resources both on and off the NYU campus. NYU’s Bobst Library, for example, has significant holdings on antiquity including papyri and manuscripts, and is also a partner institution in the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS). The University also has a collection of ancient art and inscriptions. Finally, a number of scholarly organizations relevant to antiquity are based at the Center, including the American section of the Institute for Etruscan and Italic Studies, the Aquila Theatre, and the professional journal Etruscan News. In addition, the Center also benefits from colleagues and connections at leading institutions in the city, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the American Numismatic Society, and the New York Public Library, to name just a few.
The Center’s activities include two annual endowed conferences, in addition to lectures and workshops, that bring scholars of national and international distinction to the campus; international research and travel grants for undergraduate and graduate students; visiting scholars; occasional publications; and summer seminars for college faculty from across the United States (in collaboration with the Faculty Resource Network). The Center also has sponsored occasional interdisciplinary graduate courses and oversees an undergraduate minor in Ancient Studies.
The Center was established with generous funding from two NYU alumni: Salvatore Ranieri (B.A. '70) endowed the Angelo J. Ranieri Directorship in Ancient Studies and the Antonina S. Ranieri International Scholars Fund; Rose-Marie Lewent (B.A. '45) endowed the annual Lewent Conference in Ancient Studies.
The Center's Director is Matthew S. Santirocco, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Classics.