Catherine Kearns

Biography and Interests: 

Catherine Kearns

Title: Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics and the College
Education: Ph.D. Cornell University 2015
Office: Classics 411
E-mail: cmkearns@uchicago.edu
Areas of Specialization: classical archaeology; Bronze-Iron Age social, cultural, political history; landscape and environments; archaeological method and theory; spatiality

Catherine Kearns’ research examines the intersections between social and environmental change in Mediterranean landscapes during the Iron Age period. Her first book project, Unruly Landscapes: Environment and Society on Ancient Cyprus, analyzes the emergence of Archaic communities on the island of Cyprus through their land use practices, rural economies, and experiences with changing climates. In addition to her work in landscape archaeology, she also studies environmental history, urbanism and hinterlands, and concepts of space and place in antiquity. These themes recur throughout her course offerings, such as “The Greek Countryside,” which explores textual and material evidence for social and economic practices in the hinterlands of the classical polis. In recent years she has co-directed fieldwork on Cyprus through the Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments Project, using geophysics, field survey, excavation and geospatial analysis to identify Iron Age rural settlements, for which she has been awarded ACLS, Loeb Classical Library Foundation and university grants.

Recent Publications: 

  • New Directions in Cypriot Archaeology, co-edited with Sturt W. Manning (Cornell University Press, 2019)
  • “Cyprus in the surging sea: spatial imaginations of the eastern Mediterranean.” Transactions of the American Philological Association 148.1 (2018)
  • “Mediterranean archeology and environmental histories in the spotlight of the Anthropocene.” History Compass 15.10 (2017)
  • Manning, S.W., G.M. Andreou, K.D. Fisher, P. Gerard-Little, C. Kearns, J. Leon, D. Sewell and T. Urban. “Becoming urban: investigating the anatomy of the Maroni Late Bronze Age urban complex, Cyprus.” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 27.1 (2014)
  • “Building social boundaries at the hybridizing first-millennium BC complex of Vouni (Cyprus).” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 24.2 (2011)

Honors, Awards, Fellowships and Grants: 

Recent Grants

  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
  • Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship
  • American Institute of Archaeology Publication Subvention Grant

Courses: 

  • The Greek Countryside
  • Strabo’s World: Early Geographic Traditions
  • Early Travel Writing: Pausanias in Roman Greece
  • Ancient Mediterranean Environments