Rome: Globalisation, Materiality (CLAM108)

StaffProfessor Martin Pitts - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Overall the course aims to give students the tools to access those cultural histories and ideologies which appear unattainable through literary sources, allowing for the expansion and elaboration of existing narratives and challenging the underlying models which inform our understanding of key historical and cultural processes and constructs.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Develop an understanding and appreciation of the qualities and methods of using material and visual culture.
  • 2. Work critically with different types of material/archaeological evidence and to use them in effective combination as a tool of historical and socio-cultural analysis and reconstruction.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Collate and analyse widely different types of evidence, much of which is incomplete and ambiguous in its significance
  • 4. Draw independent inferences about the relationship of myth to its cultural and historical context
  • 5. Reflect critically on the origins, development and significance of traditional stories in one's own and another culture

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Apply key bibliographical skills, the latest forms of information retrieval, as well as word-processing skills.
  • 7. Think autonomously and analytically on the basis of written and visual sources and secondary literature
  • 8. Construct and defend a sustained argument (both in written form and orally);
  • 9. Work with instructor and peers in an independent, constructive and responsive way

Syllabus plan

Examples of possible seminar topics include: the Roman world-empire, visual culture as globalising koine, urban change and connectivity, economic integration, roads and time-space compression, globalising institutions: the army, mass consumption and entanglement, food and regionality, social and economic inequality

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities15Intensive Seminar and Reading Group Teaching
Guided independent study135Students working independently & in groups in preparation for seminars and essays

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay804000 words1-9mark; written and oral comment
Oral Presentation2015-20 mins1-9mark; written and oral comment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-9Refer/Defer period
PresentationEssay1-9Refer/Defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Appadurai, A (ed.). 1986. The social life of things. Commodities in cultural  perspective. Cambridge.

Bang, P. 2008. The Roman bazaar. A Comparative Study of Trade and Markets in a Tributary Empire.


Jennings, J. 2011. Globalizations and the ancient world. Cambridge.

Mattingly, D.J. 2011. Imperialism, power and identity. Princeton.

Nederveen Pieterse, J. 2009. Globalization and culture. Global mélange. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Pitts, M and Versluys, M.J. (eds.) forthcoming. Globalisation and the Roman world. Cambridge.

Thomas, N. 1991. Entangled objects. Harvard.

Woolf, G. 1998. Becoming Roman. Cambridge.

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date

Feb 2013

Last revision date


Key words search

Globalization, Rome, Material Culture