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  2. Dr Emma-Jayne Graham

Dr Emma-Jayne Graham

Profile summary

Web links

Professional biography

I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2000 with a degree in Archaeology and Prehistory, swiftly followed by an MA in European Historical Archaeology and a PhD examining the burial of the urban poor in Roman Italy. After this I was Rome Fellow at the British School at Rome (2005-2006), during which I conducted further research into Roman mortuary customs with a project concerning the rite of os resectum. Subsequently I spent some time as a project officer with an archaeological consultancy, held an early career lectureship at Cardiff University (2007-2008), two teaching fellow positions in the School of Classics at the University of St. Andrews (2008-09 and 2010-2011) and a further teaching fellowship at the University of Leicester (2011-2012). I joined the Department of Classical Studies in September 2012.

Research interests

My research is focused primarily on the archaeology of Roman Italy and the ways in which it informs us about the construction of ancient identities and lived experiences. Mortuary practices and the treatment of the human body lie at the heart of much of my earliest work and I have written several articles which explore themes such as personhood and manipulation of the corpse, funerary commemoration and memory, as well as sensory interactions with man-made and natural environments. I am particularly interested in exploring the application of relational approaches to the Roman past. My recent book project addressed this by adopting a broadly posthumanist and new materialist approach to ancient lived religion, using assemblage theory to explore the intersection of divergent experiences of the body in relation to material things and religious practices in Roman Italy.

Recent work has also taken me into the realm of ancient disability and bodily well-being, particularly mobility impairments, as well as infant health and ritual practice in early Roman Italy, including a project focused on terracotta votive offerings modelled in the form of infants wrapped in swaddling bands. You can listen to a discussion about these here. This has led to an interest in votive practice more generally, especially anatomical ex-votos. In June 2012 I organised a conference on this subject at the British School at Rome (Bodies of Evidence). With Jessica Hughes I also edit a website devoted to discussion of votive offerings of all types: The Votives Project. I am on the Steering Committee of The Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion and have regularly contributed to the Centre's audio discussions

You can hear me talking about my experiences of making learning material for the OU and some of my research on ancient disabilities, votives, and sensory archaeologies in a Coffee and Circuses podcast. I also contributed to a Classics Confidential podcast on Roman Memory and a (filmed) British School at Rome 'Being Human 2018' event on 'Origins and Endings in Italian History', at which I talked about my research on Roman mortuary practices and the change from cremation to inhumation.

I am Series Editor for Routledge Studies in Ancient Disabilities

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who would like to work in any of these areas. (You can find more information about how to do this on the Classical Studies Postgraduate Research Applications page.) 

Selected publications

Books

Graham, E-J. 2021. Reassembling Religion in Roman Italy. Abingdon and New York, Routledge. (For a preview, see the Routledge website.)

Draycott, J. and Graham, E-J. (eds). 2017. Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future. Abingdon and New York, Routledge.

Devlin, Z.L. and Graham, E-J. (eds). 2015. Death Embodied: Archaeological Approaches to the Treatment of the Corpse. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Carroll, M. and Graham, E-J. (eds). 2014. Infant health and death in Roman Italy and beyond. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary series 96.

Graham, E-J. 2006. Death, disposal and the destitute: The burial of the urban poor in Italy in the late Roman Republic and early Empire. BAR Int. Series 1565. Oxford, Archaeopress.

Articles and book chapters

Graham, E-J. 2020. Hand in hand: Rethinking anatomical votives as material things. In V. Gasparini, M. Patzelt, R. Raja, A-K. Rieger, J. Rüpke, E. Urciuoli (eds). Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics. Berlin, De Gruyter, pp. 209–235. (Open Access). Available at https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110557596-012 

Graham, E-J. 2020. Mobility impairment: identifying lived experiences in Roman Italy. In C. Laes (ed). A Cultural History of Disability in Antiquity. Bloomsbury, pp. 3145.

Graham, E-J. 2019. Pilgrimage, mobile behaviours and the creation of religious place in early Roman Latium. In J. Kuuliala and J. Rantala (eds). Travel, Pilgrimage and Social Interaction from Antiquity to the Middle AgesRoutledge, pp. 15-36.

Graham, E-J., Sulosky Weaver, C.L., and Chamberlain, A.T. 2019. ‘Pars Pro Toto’ and Personhood in Roman Cremation Ritual: New Bioarchaeological Evidence for the Rite of ‘Os Resectum’, Bioarchaeology International 2(4), pp. 240–254, DOI: http://doi.org/10.5744/bi.2018.1026   

Graham, E-J. and Robson, J. 2018. Classics online at the Open University: teaching and learning with interactive resources. In A. Holmes-Henderson, St. Hunt and M. Musié (eds). Forward with Classics: Classical Languages in Schools and Communities. London, Bloomsbury, pp. 217–229.

Graham, E-J. 2018. ‘There buds the laurel’: Nature, temporality, and the making of place in the cemeteries of Roman Italy. Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal 1(1): 3, pp. 1–16, DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/traj.147  (Open Access).

Graham, E-J. 2017. Babes in arms? Sensory dissonance and the ambiguities of votive objects. In E. Betts (ed.). Senses of the empire: multisensory approaches to Roman culture. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 122–38.

Graham, E-J. 2017. Partible humans and permeable gods: enacting human-divine personhood in the sanctuaries of Hellenistic Italy. In J. Draycott and E-J. Graham (eds). Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 45–62.

Graham, E-J. and Draycott, J. 2017. Debating the anatomical votive. In J.Draycott and E-J. Graham (eds). Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 1–19.

Graham, E-J. 2017. Mobility impairment in the sanctuaries of early Roman Italy. In C. Laes (ed.). Disability in Antiquity (Rewriting Antiquities series). London and New York, Routledge, pp. 248–66.

Graham, E-J. 2016. Wombs and Tombs in the Roman World. Material Religion 12(2), pp. 251–254. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/WVPxymHgCIZtdTZRqHnT/full

Graham, E-J and Hope, V.M. 2016. Funerary Practices. In A. Cooley (ed.). A Companion to Roman Italy. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 159–180.

Graham, E-J. 2015. Corporeal concerns: the role of the body in the transformation of Roman mortuary practices. In Z.L. Devlin and E-J. Graham (eds). Death Embodied: Archaeological Approaches to the Treatment of the Corpse. Oxford, Oxbow, pp. 41–62.

Graham, E-J. 2015. Embodying death in archaeology. In Z.L. Devlin and E-J. Graham (eds). Death Embodied: Archaeological Approaches to the Treatment of the Corpse. Oxford, Oxbow, pp. 1–17.

Graham, E-J. 2014. Infant votives and swaddling in Hellenistic Italy. In M. Carroll and E-J. Graham (eds). Infant health and death in Roman Italy and beyond. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary series 96, pp. 23–46.

Graham, E-J. 2013. The making of infants in Hellenistic and early Roman Italy: a votive perspective. World Archaeology 45.2, pp. 215–231.

Graham, E.-J. 2013. Disparate lives or disparate deaths? Post-mortem treatment of the body and the articulation of difference. In C. Laes, C. Goodey and M.L. Rose (eds). Disabilities in Roman antiquity. Disparate bodies ‘a capite ad calcem’. Brill, Leiden, pp. 249–274.

Graham, E-J. 2011. Memory and materiality: re-embodying the Roman funeral. In V. M. Hope and J. Huskinson (eds.). Memory and Mourning: Studies on Roman Death. Oxford, Oxbow, pp. 21–39.

Graham, E-J. 2011. From fragments to ancestors: re-defining os resectum and its role in rituals of purification and commemoration in Republican Rome. In M. Carroll and J. Rempel (eds) Living through the Dead: Burial and Commemoration in the Classical World. Oxford, Oxbow, pp. 91–109.

Graham, E-J. 2009. Becoming persons, becoming ancestors: personhood, memory and the corpse in Roman rituals of social remembrance. Archaeological Dialogues 16(1), pp. 51–74.

Graham, E-J. 2006. Discarding the destitute: Ancient and modern attitudes towards burial practices and memory preservation amongst the lower classes of Rome. In B. Croxford et al. (eds). TRAC 2005. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference. Birmingham 2005. Oxford, Oxbow, pp. 57–71.

Graham, E-J. 2005. The Quick and the Dead in the extra-urban landscape: the Roman cemetery at Ostia/Portus as a lived environment. In J. Bruhn, B. Croxford and D. Grigoropoulos (eds). TRAC 2004. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference. Durham 2004. Oxford, Oxbow, pp. 133–143.

Forthcoming

Articles and book chapters

Graham, E-J. The haptic production of religious knowledge among the Vestal Virgins: a hands-on approach to Roman ritual. In B. Misic and A. Graham (eds). Sensory and cognitive approaches to Roman religious rituals. Cambridge. 

Graham, E-J. Interactional sensibilities: bringing ancient disability studies to its archaeological senses. In E. Adams (ed.) Disability Studies and the Classical Body: The Forgotten Other. Routledge.

Graham, E-J. Mobility, kinaesthesia, imagined movement and the making of place in the sanctuaries of ancient Italy. In E. Angliker and M. A. Fowler (eds). Archaeology of Ritual in the Ancient Mediterranean: Recent Finds and Interpretative Approaches. Liége, Kernos suppléments.

Graham, E-J. At home with the Lares: lived religion rematerialized at Pompeii. In J. Hughes (ed.). Pompeii: Materiality, Sensuality, and Lived Religion, A Special Themed Issue of the Open Arts Journal.

Graham, E-J. Fluid places and the sensory transposition of place in the production of Roman pilgrimage narratives. Accordia Research Papers 16.

Graham, E-J. Death's ritual symbolic performance. In M. Erasmo (ed.). A Cultural History of Death in Antiquity. Bloomsbury.

See also Open Research Online for further details of Emma-Jayne Graham’s research publications.

Teaching interests

In addition to the history and archaeology of the Roman world I have experience of teaching a wide range of subjects, from Etruscan Italy to Viking Scandinavia and from Greek temples to early Christian art. At the Open University my teaching contributions include chairing and writing for A340 The Roman empire. This Level 3 module draws on archaeological, textual and epigraphic evidence to explore what the empire was and what it meant to ‘be Roman’ in different places and at different times. Recently I wrote about Roman childhood and the archaeology of the Acropolis for the new module A229 Exploring the Classical World and I was also closely involved in the development of the new MA in Classical Studies for which I wrote units on the Colosseum, zooarchaeology, working with inscriptions, the history of body studies, death and burial, disability and divine healing. I am interested in developing innovative forms of learning and assessment and completed a scholarship of assessment project looking at ways to re-design examinations. As Director of Level 1 Teaching (Arts) I was responsible for overseeing the initial stages of the remake of the Level 1 curriculum for the Arts programme, ready for launch in 2019, and I am currently chairing and writing for the new Level 1 interdisciplinary module A112 Cultures.

Watch a brief video introduction to A340 The Roman empire.

Watch a brief video introduction to A112 Cultures.

I also developed a fun interactive educational game for Open Learn based on the emperor Hadrian's travels around the Roman empire during the second century CE.

 

Publications

‘There Buds the Laurel’: Nature, Temporality and the Making of Place in the Cemeteries of Roman Italy (2018-05-23)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal (TRAJ), 1, Article 3(1)


"Pars Pro Toto" and Personhood in Roman Cremation Ritual: New Bioarchaeological Evidence for the Rite of "Os Resectum" (2018)
Graham, Emma-Jayne; Sulosky Weaver, Carrie L. and Chamberlain, Andrew T.
Bioarchaeology International, 2(4) (pp. 240-254)


[Book Review] Reviving Roman Religion: Sacred Trees in the Roman World (2017-10-02)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
Material Religion, 13(4) (pp. 532-534)


Wombs and Tombs in the Roman World (2016-06-22)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
Material Religion, 12(1) (pp. 251-254)


The votives project (2015-03)
Hughes, Jessica and Graham, Emma-Jayne
Material Religion, 11(1) (pp. 129-131)


The making of infants in Hellenistic and early Roman Italy: a votive perspective (2013-06)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
World Archaeology, 45(2) (pp. 215-231)


Becoming persons, becoming ancestors: personhood, memory and the corpse in Roman rituals of social remembrance (2009-06)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
Archaeological Dialogues, 16(1) (pp. 51-74)


Reassembling Religion in Roman Italy (2020-11-10)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
ISBN : 9781138282711 | Publisher : Routledge


The Burial of the Urban Poor in Italy in the Late Roman Republic and Early Empire (2006)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
BAR international series
ISBN : 1841719951 | Publisher : Archaeopress | Published : Oxford


Hand in hand: Rethinking anatomical votives as material things. (2020-04-06)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Gasparini, V; Patzelt, M; Raja, R; Rieger, A-K; Rupke, J and Urciuoli, E eds. Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics (pp. 209-236)
ISBN : 978-3-11-055757-2 | Publisher : De Gruyter


Mobility impairment: identifying lived experiences in Roman Italy (2020-01)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Laes, Christian ed. A Cultural History of Disability in Antiquity (pp. 31-45)
ISBN : 978-1-3500-2852-4 | Publisher : Bloomsbury | Published : London


Pilgrimage, mobile behaviours and the creation of religious place in early Roman Latium (2019)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Kuuliala, Jenni and Rantala, Jussi eds. Travel, Pilgrimage and Social Interaction from Antiquity to the Middle Ages (pp. 15-36)
ISBN : 9780367137564 | Publisher : Routledge


Classics online at the Open University: teaching and learning with interactive resources (2018-08-09)
Robson, James and Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Holmes-Henderson, Arlene; Hunt, Steven and Musié, Mai eds. Forward with Classics: Classical Languages in Schools and Communities (pp. 217-299)
ISBN : 9781474295956 | Publisher : Bloomsbury | Published : London


Babes in arms? Sensory dissonance and the ambiguities of votive objects (2017-02-24)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Betts, Eleanor ed. Senses of the Empire: Multisensory Approaches to Roman Culture (pp. 120-136)
ISBN : 9781472446299 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon


Partible humans and permeable gods: enacting human-divine personhood in the sanctuaries of Hellenistic Italy (2017)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Draycott, Jane and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds. Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future. Medicine and the Body in Antiquity (pp. 45-62)
ISBN : 9781472450807 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York


Introduction: Debating the anatomical votive (2017)
Graham, Emma-Jayne and Draycott, Jane
In: Draycott, Jane and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds. Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future. Medicine and the Body in Antiquity (pp. 1-19)
ISBN : 9781472450807 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York


Mobility impairment in the sanctuaries of early Roman Italy (2016-09-30)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Laes, Christian ed. Disability in Antiquity. Rewriting Antiquity (pp. 248-266)
ISBN : 9781138814851 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York


Funerary practices (2016-02-19)
Graham, Emma-Jayne and Hope, Valerie M.
In: Cooley, Alison E. ed. A Companion to Roman Italy. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World (pp. 159-180)
ISBN : 9781444339260 | Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell | Published : Oxford


Corporeal concerns: the role of the body in the transformation of Roman mortuary practices (2015-05-31)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Devlin, Zoë L. and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds. Death Embodied: Archaeological Approaches to the Treatment of the Corpse. Studies in Funerary Archaeology (9) (pp. 41-62)
ISBN : 9781782979432 | Publisher : Oxbow | Published : Oxford


Embodying death in archaeology (2015-05-31)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Devlin, Zoe and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds. Death Embodied: Archaeological Approaches to the Treatment of the Corpse. Studies in Funerary Archaeology 9 (pp. 1-17)
ISBN : 9781782979432 | Publisher : Oxbow Books | Published : Oxford


Infant votives and swaddling in Hellenistic Italy (2014)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Carroll, Maureen and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds. Infant Health and Death in Roman Italy and Beyond. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series (96) (pp. 23-46)
ISBN : 9780991373000 | Publisher : Journal of Roman Archaeology | Published : Ann Arbor


Introduction: Infant health and death in Roman Italy and beyond (2014)
Graham, Emma-Jayne and Carroll, Maureen
In: Carroll, Maureen and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds. Infant health and death in Roman Italy and beyond. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series (96) (pp. 9-22)
ISBN : 978-0-9913730-0-0 | Publisher : Journal of Roman Archaeology | Published : Portsmouth, Rhode Island


Disparate lives or disparate deaths? Post-mortem treatment of the body and the articulation of difference (2013)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Laes, Christian; Goodey, Chris and Rose, M. Lynn eds. Disabilities in Roman Antiquity: Disparate Bodies ‘A Capite ad Calcem’ (pp. 249-274)
ISBN : 9789004251250 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden


Memory and materiality: re-embodying the Roman funeral (2011)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Hope, Valerie and Huskinson, Janet eds. Memory and Mourning: Studies on Roman Death (pp. 21-39)
ISBN : 978-1-84217-990-1 | Publisher : Oxbow | Published : Oxford


From fragments to ancestors: re-defining the role of os resectum in rituals of purification and commemoration in Republican Rome (2011)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Carroll, Maureen and Rempel, Jane eds. Living through the Dead: Burial and Commemoration in the Classical World. Studies in Funerary Archaeology (5) (pp. 91-109)
ISBN : 978-1-84217-376-3 | Publisher : Oxbow | Published : Oxford


Discarding the destitute: ancient and modern attitudes towards burial practice and memory preservation amongst the lower classes of Rome (2006)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Croxford, Ben; Goodchild, Helen; Lucas, Jason and Nick, Ray eds. TRAC 2005: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference. Birmingham 2005 (pp. 57-71)
ISBN : 978-1-84217-219-3 | Publisher : Oxbow | Published : Oxford


The quick and the dead in the extra-urban landscape: the Roman cemetery at Ostia/Portus as a lived environment (2005)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Bruhn, James; Croxford, Ben and Grigoropoulos, Dimitris eds. TRAC 2004: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Durham 2004 (pp. 133-143)
ISBN : 978-1-84217-173-8 | Publisher : Oxbow Books | Published : Oxford


Dining al fresco with the living and the dead in Roman Italy (2005)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
In: Carroll, Maureen; Hadley, D. M. and Willmott, Hugh eds. Consuming Passions: Dining from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century. Revealing history (pp. 49-65)
ISBN : 978-0-7524-3445-2 | Publisher : Tempus | Published : Stroud


Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future (2016-12-12)
Draycott, Jane and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds.
Medicine and the Body in Antiquity
ISBN : 9781472450807 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London


Death Embodied: Archaeological Approaches to the Treatment of the Corpse (2015-05-31)
Devlin, Zoë L. and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds.
Studies in Funerary Archaeology
ISBN : 9781782979432 | Publisher : Oxbow | Published : Oxford


Infant Health and Death in Roman Italy and Beyond (2014-01-31)
Carroll, Maureen and Graham, Emma-Jayne eds.
Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series
ISBN : 9780991373000 | Publisher : Journal of Roman Archaeology | Published : Ann Arbor