Last Thursday evening (Sept. 30), Melissa Hogan, a senior history major presented her research on Cypriot Mosaics at the annual Friends of Murray Library annual dinner and business meeting. Two history majors, Caitlin Babcock and Melissa Hogan, were both recipients of the Friends Murray Library Research Grant for 2009-2010, and the generous support of Friends allowed them to pursue travel to conduct research related to senior projects.
As part of the Friends of Murray Library annual dinner on Thursday, Melissa gave a short speech to the collected assembly thanking them for the grant and the opportunity she enjoyed due to their support. She also designed and created three posters to display her findings and facilitate conversation and questions concerning her topic. She presented her findings in an informal fashion, explaining her thesis and its significance to small groups of interested members. This method of presentation allowed her to interact with the audience and answer individual questions.
The posters described how floor and wall mosaics provide invaluable historical evidence and insight to the transition of ideology and religion in Late Antiquity, that period of major cultural change in the Roman Mediterranean between then 2nd and 7th centuries. According to Melissa’s research, mosaics assist the historian in understanding the period in ways that literature and documents do not. Overall, her presentation was received enthusiastically by the membership of Friends who are excited to provide further support to eager young researchers through the Library Research Grant. If you are interested in applying for this grant, the application date for 2010-2011 is October 27. We will look forward to hearing more about mosaics from Melissa later in the spring.