In spring 2019 the Classics Department at Johns Hopkins launched an exciting initiative for undergraduates: a research “laboratory” in which students can enroll for credit as they would any normal course. Each lab project will be different, but each will engage students in direct, empirical research connected to the current work of the faculty member in charge. Some projects will complete their work in a semester, others may be ongoing or intermittent; in the latter case, students may join for just a term, or return.

Current Projects

The John Addington Symonds Project (JASP)

PIs: Shane Butler, Classics, and Gabrielle Dean, Sheridan Libraries

The John Addington Symonds Project (JASP) investigates the work of the Victorian writer John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, which was privately printed in ten copies and circulated anonymously. The lab was launched in 20“19, and so far has been engaged in two major efforts. The first is to produce a digital edition of the various redactions of Symonds’s groundbreaking essay. The second, more ambitious, is to reconstruct the contents of his private library. The results of the lab’s work appear in real time on its website, where users can already read the 1897 version and browse hundreds of books Symonds is known to have owned.

Read an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about the John Addington Symonds Project. (Authentication may be required.)

Antioch Recovery Project (ARP)

PI: Jennifer Stager, History of Art

Launched in Spring 2020, this CRL project investigates mosaics from the ancient city of Antioch-on-the-Orontes. These mosaics are now dispersed across at least twenty-five locations around the world, including over thirty now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Phase II will focus on three chronological moments: the diverse, multilingual city of ancient Antioch, Baltimore’s role in the 20th century excavations carried out between the two world wars, and the contemporary afterlives of these mosaics that connect the selection in Baltimore with fragments around the globe. We will continue to digitally reunite these dispersed fragments, with an emphasis on those mosaics in Baltimore. More information at Under the supervision of the project’s director, Jennifer Stager (History of Art), participants will learn advanced research methods, travel to museum collections, generate new knowledge, and disseminate their results. 

Read an article from the Krieger School’s Arts & Sciences Magazine about the Antioch Recovery Project.

Baltimore ReCast: Ancient & Modern Bodies in an American City (BRC)

PI: Emily Anderson, Classics

In the later 19th century, as Baltimore struggled to redefine itself after the Civil War and swelled with massive immigration, the people of the city brought the ancient past into the living present of their urban space. Since 2020, a Classics Research Lab led by Prof. Emily Anderson has examined the realities of those interactions, by closely exploring the social relations surrounding a key collection of ancient material, the Peabody Sculptural Cast Collection—a now disbanded collection of plaster casts of ancient Mediterranean sculpture, founded in 1881. The lab team undertakes ongoing research concerning the people and objects that formed this collection’s urban community in Baltimore, with close interest in matters of access, discrimination and legitimacy, recovery of hidden stories and connections, and bringing to light under- or unrecognized contributions and creative work among the city’s diverse inhabitants. One of the lab’s primary aims has been the construction of a virtual exhibit that re-assembles and rethinks the collection, through a walkable 3D gallery and a series of detailed features concerning the casts’ place in the city.