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This past weekend I had the honor of presenting at the Humanities West conference “Pompeii & Herculaneum: Rediscovering Roman Art & Culture“.  I gave a talk on the re-discovery and excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and got to work with some dear friends and colleagues who also work in those ancient cities.

The entire conference was a tremendous success, and many Humanities West regulars claimed it was one of the best events they had ever had. The audience reviews and rankings agreed.  I found out today that I was awarded a prize for the lecturer “who best embodies and supports our mission to explore history while celebrating the mind and the arts, offering important insights in the subject while instilling in our audience the sheer joy of life-long learning”.  I wish to thank Humanities West, Executive Director Patricia Lundberg, the anonymous donor of the prize, and all of the conference attendees and participants.  It was a great time!

I was part of a fantastic team of Pompeii scholars.  Together, our reviews scored higher than all but 2 of about 85 lecturers Humanities West have had over the past 5 years.  Some of it was filmed so I hope it will eventually find its way on to the web someday because the talks on the second day, given by Ted Peña, Michael Anderson, Stephanie Pearson, and Lisa Pieraccini were all amazing examples of new and innovative work being done in the ancient ruins of the Bay of Naples.

We’re hoping again to become involved with bringing Roman culture and history, as well as the rest of the Classics, back to Humanities West.