About

Dr. Michael Anthony Fowler is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Design at East Tennessee State University (ETSU); he also serves as affiliate faculty in the Classical and Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs.

An art historian and classical archaeologist, Dr. Fowler specializes in the art and material culture of ancient Greece and the Near East. His dissertation, “Human Sacrifice in Greek Antiquity: Between Myth, Image, and Reality” (2019), offers an archaeologically and art historically grounded inquiry into the historicity, forms, and meanings of human sacrifice. The project combined several of Dr. Fowler’s research interests, particularly the iconography and archaeology of ritual, gender, and violence in the artistic imagination.

Dr. Fowler previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History (2018-2019) at ETSU. Before moving to Johnson City, he also taught as Visiting Lecturer at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen’s Institute for Classical Archaeology (2014) and as Art Humanities Instructor at Columbia (2013-2014; 2016-2017), where he earned the Preceptor Award for Excellence in Teaching for the Core Curriculum in 2014.

In his teaching, which ranges widely across the history of art, Dr. Fowler is interested in introducing students to the diversity of visual cultures around the globe and to the critical role that the arts continue to play in expressing, shaping, and responding to peoples’ ideals and realities. He enjoys working with art historians and artists alike and is always looking for innovative ways to transform coursework into important opportunities for practical training and professional growth. For example, in September 2021 he mounted an exhibition of students’ artwork at the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Virginia. These works, which represented a diversity of responses to challenging question “What Is Appalachia?”, were produced in the context of Dr. Fowler’s spring 2021 semester Art and Appalachia. In summer 2022, he co-designed and co-taught a study abroad course in Greece with Prof. Kelly Porter (Graphic Design). The course – Designing Cultural Heritage – placed students at the dynamic disciplinary intersection of art history, design, cultural heritage management, and tourism. Working in interdisciplinary teams, students developed art historically informed solutions to real-world design problems, viewing them through the lenses of storytelling, wayfinding, accessibility, technology, and gamifying.

Since 2015, he has been an active member of the team excavating the sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos (Boeotia, Greece), and currently serves on the excavation’s senior staff as Supervisor of Site B (the administrative center). In summer 2018 he joined the excavation and scientific team working at the sanctuary of Apollo on the Cycladic islet of Despotiko.

For over a decade, Dr. Fowler has also served as co-author of the “Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque” (Kernos), on which he is responsible for Central Greece. In addition to developing his dissertation into a book, Dr. Fowler is currently co-editing two international volumes (archaeology of ritual in the ancient Mediterranean; and the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem) and preparing studies on man-eating myth in Greek art, the aesthetics of apotropaic images, and a case study on Greek-Etruscan artistic exchange. Beyond these projects, Dr. Fowler is an active contributor to Smarthistory, which is working to democratize access to high-quality, expert-written art history learning resources.

As a commissioned member of Johnson City’s Public Art Committee (JCPA), Dr. Fowler enjoys assisting with various projects aimed at integrating art into the everyday lives of people in this region, beautifying the city we collectively call home, and building community through collaboration.

Education

Ph.D., Columbia University, 2019

M.Phil., Columbia University, 2013

M.A., Columbia University, 2012

M.A., Tufts University, 2010

M.T.S., Harvard University, 2008

B.A., The Colorado College, 2006

Publications

Journal Articles 

Under review. Rosa Bonheur the Amazon? Equestrianism, Female Masculinity, and the Horse Fair (1852–1855). In “Queer Representations and Receptions of Amazons,” edited by Walter D. Penrose. Special issue, Journal of Lesbian Studies. [approx. 8,800 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography]

Of Human Sacrifice and Barbarity: A Case Study of the Late Archaic Tumulus XVII at Istros. In E. Angliker and L. Lopes (eds.), Religions in Ancient Greece and Rome: Contacts, Encounters, and Exchanges. Special issue of História: Questões & Debates 69.1 (2021): 81-120.

Articles in Books (Conference Proceedings & Edited Volumes)

Under review. Religion at the Wayside, Religion by the Wayside: Roadside Shrines in Central Greece—Two Case Studies. In The Archaeology of Traveling and Cult Practices in the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by Jesper Tae Jensen and Erica Angliker. [approx. 20,000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography]

Forthcoming. 2022/23. Bad Blood? Varying Attitudes on Human Sacrifice in Archaic Greek Art. In Proceedings of the University of St. Andrews Biblical Symposium: Aspects of Belief in West Asia and the Mediterranean Basin (1000­ BCE–100 CE), Grand Rapids. [approx. 7,250 words]

Archaeological Bulletins

Béotie, Eubée. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion GrecqueKernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 33 (2020), 279–293.

Béotie, Eubée. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 31 (2018), 233–258

Phocide, Locride, Étolie; and Phthiotide, Thessalie. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 29 (2016), 330–349

Phocide, Locride, Étolie; and Phthiotide, Thessalie. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 27 (2014), 340–345; 352–363

(with I. Mylonopoulos) Béotie, Eubée; Phocide, Locride, Étolie; and Phthiotide, Thessalie. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 26 (2013), 303–322

(with I. Mylonopoulos) Béotie, Eubée; Phocide, Locride, Étolie; and Phthiotide, Thessalie. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 25 (2012), 257–270

(with I. Mylonopoulos) Béotie, Eubée; Phocide, Locride, Étolie; and Phthiotide, Thessalie. Chronique Archéologique de la Religion Grecque, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 24 (2011), 272–277; 281–283

Book Reviews

Review of Irene S. Lemos, Athena Tsingarida (eds.), Beyond the Polis. Rituals, Rites and Cults in Early and Archaic Greece (12th-6th centuries BC), Brussels, CReA-Patrimoine, 2019 (Études d’archéologie, 15). Forthcoming in Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 34 (2021), 287–290.

Review of Á.Bencze, Physionomies d’une Cité Grecque: Développements Stylistiques de la Coroplathie Votive Archaïque de Tarente, Naples, 2013, Les Carnets de l’ACoSt [Association for Coroplastic Studies] 14 (2016), 6 pp. [e-journal]

Review of S. Verdan, Érétria XXII. Le Sanctuaire d’Apollon Daphnéphoros à l’Époque Géométrique, 2 vols., Gollion, 2013, Kernos: Revue Internationale et Pluridisciplinaire de Religion Grecque Antique 27 (2014), 472–480

Scholarly Translations

Books

A. Christopoulou, P. Bouyia, A. Gadolou (eds.), The Antikythera Shipwreck: The Technology of the Ship, the Cargo, the Mechanism [Greek-English trans.; also published as Το Ναυάγιο των Αντικυθήρωνη Τεχνολογία του Πλοίουτου Φορτίουτου Μηχανισμού], Athens, 2012. 107 pp.

Articles/Chapters

A. Charami, The Excavation of a Roman Building in Chaeronea (An. Papanikolaou Plot) [Greek- English trans.], in M. Germani (ed.), Tra Oriente ed Occidente: Miscellanea di Studi sul Mondo Antico, Aquino, 2017, 21–35

M. Patera, Reflections on the Discourse of Fear in Greek Sources [French-English trans.], in A. Chaniotis, P. Ducrey (eds.), Unveiling Emotions II. Emotions in Greece and Rome: Texts, Images, Material Culture, Stuttgart, 2013, 109–134

Open Educational Resources

The Antikythera Shipwreck, in B. Harris and S. Zucker (dirs.), Smarthistory: The Center for Public Art History, https://smarthistory.org/the-antikythera-shipwreck (2021)

Marcel Aubert, Modern Goth, in S. Murray, A. Tallon (eds.), Mapping Gothic Francehttp://mappinggothic.org/person/452 (2011)

Varia

A Reflection on Art Humanities, 826 Schermerhorn 27 (2013), 9

Blog Posts

    Projects

    Ongoing Archaeological Fieldwork

    1. Supervisor of Site B (Administrative Center), Summer 2016 – present; Trench Supervisor, Summer 2015: Onchestos Excavation Project (Boeotia, Greece); Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University; Athens Archaeological Society; 9th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities; Director: I. Mylonopoulos

    Research and Works in Progress

    1. Development of the dissertation into a monograph (since winter 2019)

    2. Unsavory Sights: an article-length study on the theme of cannibalism in Greek art, elaborated from a talk delivered at SECAC 2019 (project submission spring/summer 2023)

    3. A Reflection on Beauty and Ugliness: an article-length study of an unusual Archaic bronze mirror now at the J. Paul Getty Museum, elaborated from a talk delivered at SECAC 2020 (projected submission spring/summer 2023)

    4. Editing (with E. Angliker) of a collected volume entitled Archaeology of Ritual in the Ancient Mediterranean: New Finds and Interpretative Approaches (under preliminary publication agreement with Éditions De Boccard [Paris]) (manuscript submission expected winter 2022)

    5. Study and publication (with I. Mylonopoulos) of the metal artifacts from the 1972 Greek excavation in the sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos, Boeotia, Greece (since summer 2018)

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    1. Altering the Altar: A Case Study in Greek-Etruscan Artistic Exchange. Centers and PeripheriesThe Global Premodern, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, April 20–22, 2023.

    Memberships

    Appalachian Pre-modernists

    Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

    Association for Coroplastic Studies (ACoSt)

    Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS)

    College Art Association (CAA)

    Etruscan Foundation

    Lambda Classical Caucus (LCC)

    Midwest Art History Society (MAHS)

    SECAC

    Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)

    Society for Classical Studies (SCS)

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