Message from the Chair

Dear colleagues, friends, and members of the community,

On behalf of the entire governance board, please allow me to welcome you to Global Antiquity. I’m delighted you have taken an interest in this collaborative endeavor, and it would be my pleasure for you to join us as we embark on this new chapter of ancient studies at UCLA and beyond. In an era marked by increasing sectarianism and myopic world-views, it has never been clearer that how we define our ancient pasts continues to play a role in how we shape our presents. Yet, the ancient past is not a single, monolithic entity to be defined and claimed by such movements but an expansive, global network of near infinite entanglements, exchanges, and mutual stimulations. Such a view, which envisions not a singular ancient world but a web of inseparably connected ancient worlds, challenges traditional definitions of center and periphery and encourages us to adopt a new form of humanism that foregrounds inclusivity and the equivalency of past human experiences.

This new humanism cannot be formulated and realized by a single group in isolation, whether it be individual scholars, a department, or even an entire academic community. On the contrary, it hinges equally on sources of knowledge that may have previously fallen outside of academia or between the boundaries of traditional fields. This is why I am so pleased to have you learn more about Global Antiquity, and I would like to invite you to browse the website, partake in the institute’s public offerings, and above all share your thoughts and experiences about the ancient worlds with us. To do so, please subscribe to our mailing list or fill out the form found under the “Contact Us” section of the site. Thank you for your support of Global Antiquity.

With best regards,

Rahim Shayegan

M. Rahim Shayegan
Chair of the Governance Board, Global Antiquity
Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Professor of Iranian and the Ancient Near East
Director, Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World
UCLA | Division of Humanities