Dr. Chelsea Gardner
I am a Classical Archaeologist specializing in the history and material culture of ancient Greece, Rome, and the broader Mediterranean world. I arrived at Acadia University in Fall 2019, after working at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB. My PhD (Classics: Classical Archaeology) and MA (Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology) degrees are both from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. My BA degree (Classics & Religious Studies) is from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON.
My research is centred around archaeological exploration in southern Greece. I work in the Mani peninsula, just south of ancient Sparta, and am currently the co-director of The CARTography Project (https://cartographyproject.com), a Digital Humanities mapping project in which we analyze and recreate the routes of early modern travellers. I am working on a book on the site of ancient Tainaron, the mythical entrance to the ancient Greek Underworld and the location of a famous sanctuary to Poseidon throughout classical antiquity. I am also interested in ancient and modern cultural identity, ancient religious space, the history of travel, archaeological survey, women in the ancient world, animals and nature in antiquity, landscape studies, and Digital Humanities. My latest project is Peopling the Past (https://peoplingthepast.com), an initiative that creates open-access materials for learning about real people who lived in the ancient Mediterranean world - I host the Peopling the Past podcast, which just finished airing its second season!
Check out my research on Tainaron, the entrance of the ancient Greek Underworld, here:
Take a look at the results from the first season of the CARTography Project, here:
Listen to the Peopling the Past podcast here:
TEACHING & PEDAGOGY
My teaching covers many areas of the ancient Mediterranean, including Greek & Latin language and literature, the history of the Graeco-Roman world from the prehistory to late antiquity, mythology, religion & sacred space, and women, gender & sexuality in antiquity. I specialize in courses on archaeological topics, such as: Introduction to Archaeology, Greek & Roman Art & Archaeology, Archaeology of Daily Life, and Ancient Sanctuaries.
I believe strongly in a multi-disciplinary and a hands-on, experiential approach to teaching and learning, both within the traditional undergraduate classroom as well as on archaeological field projects, study abroad opportunities, and through workshops and other public-facing activities. My primary objective as a teacher is to enable my students not only to think analytically and critically about our interpretation of the texts and material culture of the ancient world, but to contextualize said information from antiquity and to apply it in such a way so as to better understand the modern world in which we live. The skills I impart in the classroom prepare students to be productive and engaged citizens and potential future academics themselves.
My teaching is also grounded in the instruction of the Digital Humanities, and I incorporate skills such as website-building, database management, social media interaction, and artifact digitization into the classroom so as to provide valuable training that will benefit students regardless of their future careers. Ultimately, I believe that students learn best when challenged, informed, and inspired, and I strive to achieve all three both inside and outside of the classroom.
Select Undergraduate Classroom Projects
Women in Antiquity: A collaborative project for the study of women in the ancient world; contributions by undergraduate students in courses on women, gender, & sexuality in antiquity.
WikiEducation: I teach with Wikipedia in many of my undergraduate courses (Introduction to World Mythology, Classical Greece: State and Society; Rome: Republic and Empire) and students work on improving Wikipedia instead of writing a traditional research paper. These assignments provide an opportunity for students to engage with impactful research that will affect global knowledge on various topics.
Roman Art Projects
Interactive Visual Map of Rome on Instagram by Nick Despres
North African Circus Mosaics website by Janan Assaly
Ownership of the Colour Purple in the Roman Empire website by Sydney Young
Ancient Roman Gladiators downloadable worksheets by Matthew Hovey
The Amphitheatre of El Djem website by Luna Nishiyama
Damnatio Memoriae website by Cheryl MacKinnon
Ancient Roman Theatres website by Sarah Acacia