Bluegrass Ancient Studies Seminar

What is BASS?

BASS is an annual gathering of scholars from Central Kentucky who work on ancient material (from East and/or West) that meets at area colleges and universities on a rotating basis.  Founded in 2004-05 by Rubén Dupertuis (then of Centre College) and Jeff Richey (Berea College), BASS brings together classicists, historians, philosophers, religionists, and others whose research and teaching focuses on China, Greece, Rome, and other civilizations of Old World antiquity.

BASS now is on Facebook!

Next Meeting

The next meeting of BASS is scheduled to take place at Centre College on April 20, 2013. The topic for discussion will be "The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient World," based on Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Sanskrit texts. For more information, please contact James Morrison.

Previous Meetings

The inaugural meeting of BASS was organized by Rubén Dupertuis and Tom McCollough and took place on April 30, 2005, at Centre College in Danville, KY. The program featured two sessions: (1) a discussion of the work of G.E.R. Lloyd's  Ambitions of Curiosity: Understanding the World in Ancient Greece and China (Cambridge University Press, 2002), followed by (2) a presentation by Rubén Dupertuis (Centre College) on the implications of educational practices in the late Hellenistic and Roman periods for the study of early Christian and Jewish narratives. Photos from this meeting are available for viewing by clicking here.

The 2006 meeting of BASS took place on April 29, 2006, at Berea College in Berea, KY.  Our guest speaker was Professor Steven Shankman of the University of Oregon, whose book (co-edited with Stephen W. Durrant), Early China/Ancient Greece: Thinking Through Comparisons (SUNY Press, 2002), formed the basis for our discussions. 

The 2007 meeting of BASS took place on April 21, 2007, at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY.  The texts for this year’s discussion were Lucretius' On the Nature of Things and the Zhuangzi.

In 2008, BASS met twice.  The first 2008 meeting of BASS took place on April 12, 2008, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.  The texts for this discussion were Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and the Mencius.  The second 2008 meeting of BASS took place on September 13, 2008, at  Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY.  The texts for this discussion were Plotinus' Enneads (trans. O'Brien) and the Upanishads (trans. Olivelle).

BASS met twice once again in 2009. The first 2009 meeting of BASS took place on April 11, 2009 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.  The theme for this discussion was "Eros in the Ancient World," with texts for discussion drawn from classical Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, and Sanskrit poetry.  The second 2009 meeting took place at Panda Cuisine in Lexington, KY. Building on the previous meeting's theme of "Eros in the Ancient World," this meeting was devoted to "Allegorizing Eros in the Ancient World," with texts for discussion drawn from allegorical interpretations of erotic poetry found in Chinese and Western literature.

BASS met on April 25, 2010, at Berea College. The theme chosen for this meeting was "Warrior Lives," with texts for discussion drawn from biographies and autographies of ancient warriors.

The first meeting of BASS of 2011 was hosted by Transylvania University on April 16, 2011. The morning session was devoted to discussion of "Cultural Identity and the Other" in ancient cultures, and Professor Julie Hruby of Berea College lectured on “The Working Other: The Labor of Women, Children, and Foreigners in Mycenaean Greece” in the afternoon. On September 24, 2011, BASS met again at the University of Kentucky to discuss "Death and Afterlife in Antiquity."

Suggested Links

ABZU: Guide to Information on the Study of the Ancient Near East
Archive of Indological Resources Online

Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World
Early China Roundtable
Exploring Ancient World Cultures
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
Internet Classics Archive
Internet East Asian History Sourcebook

Internet Indian History Sourcebook
Silk Road Seattle
Sino-Platonic Papers
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy
Society for Intercultural Comparative Studies
Society for the Study of Early China
Southeastern Early China Roundtable
Stanford Ancient Chinese and Mediterranean Empires Comparative History Project   

Warring States Project

Site Information

This site was originally developed by Rubén Dupertuis (Centre College).  It has been maintained by Jeff Richey (Berea College) since January 25, 2006.